Alzheimer's Disease Plaque Scan

With established landmarks in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) research and treatment, Mount Sinai Health System sets a new milestone. The Mount Sinai Health System is the first institution in New York State to use in the clinical setting a newly approved imaging technique to detect Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in people who are cognitively impaired. We offer brain scans with the FDA-approved diagnostic agent Amyvid™ for evaluating Alzheimer's and other forms of cognitive impairment. Amyvid (Florbetapir F 18 Injection) will aid Mount Sinai physicians in detecting the presence and density of amyloid plaques in adults.

Until now, physicians have been limited in their ability to diagnose AD, guided almost exclusively by a patient’s mental and behavioral symptoms and family history. Now coupled with traditional clinical examination, florbetapir is a promising tool in helping determine the prognosis of a patient who is dealing with some cognitive impairment.

Alzheimer Plaque Scans: Now Part of the Diagnostic Process

As part of Mount Sinai's diagnostic process for adult patients being evaluated for AD or other forms of cognitive decline, the plaque scan is used in conjunction with other diagnostic evaluations including neuropsychological evaluation and assessing a patient's medical history.

How It Works

Amyloid plaques—clumps of the protein beta-amyloid—are considered hallmark indicators of AD. To aid in the detection of plaques in the brain, Amyvid is used during the positron emission tomography (PET) scan procedure. Administered by injection, it binds to the amyloid plaques and serves as the marker for their presence and density.

If a large amount of florbetapir appears on the image, the patient may have AD. If no plaques are found, this could eliminate AD as a possible cause of the patient’s cognitive impairment.

A positive scan may indicate that a memory disorder likely is due to Alzheimer’s Disease, but does not confirm a diagnosis of AD. Just as a negative scan may indicate a reduced likelihood a patient's cognitive decline is a result of Alzheimer's, it does not rule out the condition.

The Alzheimer plaque brain scan procedure employs the identical scanners already in use for other positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and our commitment to excellence ensures superior care and safety through every procedure.

Amyvid is expected to be most useful in the research setting, providing scientists with a tool for measuring the effectiveness of certain drugs on patients who with cognitive impairment or AD. The scan will help determine which patients are appropriate for which trials, which drugs are effective and for what duration, and provide a better assessment for disease progression.