Date: 22 May 2013

It is estimated that 670,000 people in England have dementia. That figure is expected to double in the next 30 years. Currently fewer than half of people with dementia have been diagnosed. The government says the overall dementia diagnosis rate in England - about 45% - is "shockingly low". The issue was raised as a priority a year ago in the prime minister's "challenge on dementia".

The London Clinic is one of the first healthcare providers in the UK to offer a test for people experiencing dementia symptoms that can help to diagnose or exclude Alzheimer’s disease.

PET/CT for amyloid imaging is a new test that has recently been approved by the European Commission. The benefit of using PET/CT for amyloid imaging is that early accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s means that treatment to slow the progress of the condition can be started sooner in order to improve the quality of life. The World Health Organisation recommends a focus on improving early diagnosis.

During the test, a radio-labelled amyloid tracer is injected into a vein. The tracer is carried to the brain and selectively attaches to areas of amyloid deposition (a protein in the brain) which is typically increased in Alzheimer’s patients. Imaging of the brain can then take place using a PET/CT scanner to identify the presence of increased amyloid deposition. The test takes around one hour and can be undertaken on an outpatient basis.

If you would like further information, or would like to speak to a consultant at The London Clinic about this new, ground-breaking test or generally about dementia, surrounding Dementia Awareness Week please click here and complete the enquiry form

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