Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases. Dementia is a serious condition that affects over 5 million people in the United States. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit this website.

PET or CT-PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Brain Imaging is a newer technique used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It is a scan.   It obtains a traditional CT scan and a PET scan of the brain at the same time and shows how well the brain is functioning.  This exam can dramatically decrease the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, especially if it is performed early.

Your doctor may order a PET Brain Scan to accomplish any of the following:

  • Check for brain cancer.
  • Determine if brain cancer has spread
  • To diagnose Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, or Parkinson’s disease
  • To prepare for epilepsy surgery
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of treatment

How to Prepare:

  • Follow any instructions your doctor gives you
  • Notify the doctor of any medicines you are currently taking
  • You may need to fast from solid foods
  • Notify the doctor if you are pregnant or if there is a possibility you might be
  • Notify the doctor about any medical conditions you have
  • You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and to remove clothing/jewelry

What to Expect:

  • You will receive an IV injection containing a low dose radioactive tracer
  • You will lie down on a table that slides into the CT/PET scanning machine
  • Be sure to remain very still
  • The scan images will show your brain activity

After the Procedure:

  • You can resume normal daily activities
  • The radiologist will send a report to your doctor