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The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) has noted progress in the global fight against Alzheimer's disease (AD) following the announcement at the G8 Dementia Summit that the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) will cover beta amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to rule out AD. It represents the first time beta amyloid PET imaging will be covered as part of a public health system.
"MITA believes the NHS decision to cover beta amyloid PET imaging represents a positive step forward for the Alzheimer's disease community, as it will offer access to this groundbreaking diagnostic tool for patients in the United Kingdom," said Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA. "We are committed to working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other experts to generate additional clinical evidence to support coverage for beta amyloid PET for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States."
PET imaging can detect the presence of beta amyloid plaque in the brain - a common indication of AD - and help physicians diagnose patients earlier, when there is more time for their family and caregivers to plan accordingly. The ability to rule out AD through beta amyloid PET imaging could also help physicians avoid prescribing inappropriate and unnecessary treatments.
In September, CMS announced that it will cover beta amyloid PET imaging under coverage with evidence development (CED) for patients enrolled in an approved clinical study, but stopped short of extending coverage in accordance with the appropriate use criteria developed by the Alzheimer's Association and the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).
Alzheimer's Disease International estimates that 44 million people worldwide have dementia and that number is expected to rise to 135 million by 2050 unless there is a significant medical breakthrough. Approximately five million Americans have AD in the United States.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Alzheimer's / Dementia category page for the latest news on this subject.
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23 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270260>
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