When Are Imaging Diagnostics, Such As An MRI Or PET Scan, Used To Determine Whether I Have Alzheimer's Disease -- And How Accurate Are They?

Question: When are imaging diagnostics, such as an MRI or PET scan, used to determine whether I have Alzheimer's disease -- and how accurate are they?

Answer: The standardized assessment for Alzheimer's disease includes a brain scan, and it's called a structural brain scan that can be either an MRI or a CT scan. This allows the doctor to see whether there's a tumor or a stroke in the brain. It may show brain shrinkage, which is not especially diagnostic.

Sometimes the doctor may order a brain PET scan, which can help differentiate different types of dementia. For example, it may show Alzheimer's disease or frontal temporal dementia. This can be important because Alzheimer's disease has a different kind of treatment than other types of dementia, like frontal temporal dementia.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7393384. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7393384. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7393384. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7393384. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7393384. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7393384.
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner is shown here at age 10 in this undated childhood family photo.
Courtesy Linda Thompson
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner celebrates after winning 1500M race during Decathlon at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, July 17, 1976.
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
PHOTO: A female coyote lay in an animal carrier after being captured by Special Operations officers on Manhattan?s west side, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in New York.
New York City Police Department Special Operations Division via AP