New Brain Scan to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

June 6th, 2012 By Jackie Larena-Lacayo

Miami Jewish Health Systems’ Memory Center Advances Screenings with Elite Imaging

MIAMI, FL –June 5, 2012– Miami Jewish Health Systems (MJHS) and Elite Imaging have teamed up to offer the new FDA-approved brain scan for individuals being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other causes of cognitive impairment, announced Jeffrey Freimark, Chief Executive Officer of Miami Jewish Health Systems.

“We are the first in the area to offer a comprehensive screening program utilizing the new drug Amyvid, in a brain scan,” said Marc Agronin, M.D., Director of the MJHS Memory Center. He is a board certified adult and geriatric psychiatrist who is nationally recognized as an expert on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment.

The screening process will consist of a clinical interview, an educational session about the scan and a meeting with Dr. Agronin. All appropriate candidates for the scan will be scheduled to undergo it at Elite Imaging, in Aventura. Elite Imaging has collaborated with Miami Jewish Health Systems for the past five years on research into Alzheimer’s disease, including use of Amyvid in multiple research studies. Individuals undergoing the scan will then meet again with Dr. Agronin and his team to review the results and devise a plan for follow-up and treatment, if necessary. The cost for this program is approximately $3,000.

This new screening tool uses Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning of the brain in combination with the drug Amyvid (Florbetapir F18 injection) which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to estimate the density of a certain kind of plaque in adults suffering from some degree of cognitive impairment.

A negative scan indicates few to no neuritic plaques and reduces the likelihood that the cognitive impairment is due to Alzheimer’s disease, while a positive scan indicates moderate to severe plaque which is consistent with Alzheimer’s, but does not absolutely establish a diagnosis. This information is combined with a clinical examination and other information to establish the most likely diagnosis.

Individuals interested in learning more about how to be screened for the scan, including costs, should contact Nilsa Adorno at the Memory Center at Miami Jewish Health Systems at (305) 514-8503.

Miami Jewish Health Systems is one of the most innovative healthcare providers in the United States. Treating 25,000 people of all ages, ethnicities and religions annually, the not-for-profit organization, known formerly as Miami Jewish Home and Hospital, offers community-based, residential and on-campus medical programs. The 71 year old institution draws patients from across the nation and around the world for its pioneering Centers of Excellence that include: Rosomoff Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center; Brucker Biofeedback Center; The Memory Center; Rehabilitation Services at Miami Jewish Health Systems’ Nursing Facility and the Program of All Inclusive care for the Elderly (PACE). More information on Miami Jewish Health Systems is available at www.miamijewishhealth.org.

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