The New York Times: For Alzheimer's, Detection Advances Outpace Treatment Options
The new brain scan technology, which went on the market in June, is spreading fast. There are already more than 300 hospitals and imaging centers, located in most major metropolitan areas, that are ready to perform the scans, according to Eli Lilly, which sells the tracer used to mark plaque for the scan. The scans show plaques in the brain -- barnaclelike clumps of protein, beta amyloid -- that, together with dementia, are the defining feature of Alzheimer's disease. Those who have dementia but do not have excessive plaques do not have Alzheimer's. It is no longer necessary to wait until the person dies and has an autopsy to learn if the brain was studded with plaques (Kolata, 11/15).