STAT News: Medicare: Cover amyloid PET scans and stop keeping people with dementia in the dark

May 25, 2021, 00:00 AM

One morning in 2012, my wife Geri looked in the mirror and failed to recognize her own face. Our neurologist diagnosed Geri, a former health care executive and nurse, with early dementia (also known as mild cognitive impairment) but could not confirm if she had Alzheimer’s disease or give us a clearer diagnosis.

Over the next two years, we lived with the gnawing uncertainty of not knowing the cause of Geri’s memory loss or the best medical options to combat it. A clinical trial of an experimental Alzheimer’s drug at Yale University, a two-hour drive from our home, looked like it might help. To see if she qualified to take part in the trial, Geri had to undergo a scan called positron emission tomography (PET). It uses special chemicals injected into the bloodstream to help “light up” brain tissue with amyloid plaque, the telltale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Click here to see the full article on the STAT News website.