Panel Requires Additional Data About Brain Amyloid Imaging for Alzheimer's Disease Despite Expert Recommendations

  Panel Requires Additional Data About Brain Amyloid Imaging for Alzheimer's
                    Disease Despite Expert Recommendations

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013

- Alzheimer's Association Statement -

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Alzheimer's
Association is disappointed that the Medicare Evidence Development and
Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) panel does not believe that there is
adequate evidence whether or not PET imaging of brain beta amyloid changes
health outcomes,and urges the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS)
to review the evidence and make a positive determination about coverage.The
Association sincerely appreciates the opportunity to participate in this
important review process.

The Alzheimer's Association strongly supports early and accurate diagnosis of
Alzheimer's disease, and believes that it leads to better outcomes and higher
quality of life for people with Alzheimer's and their families. It does this
by: enabling earlier access to appropriate treatments, allowing the family to
build a care team and seek out education and support services, enabling
enrollment in Alzheimer's/dementia clinical trials, and providing an
opportunity for the development of advance directives and financial planning.

The Alzheimer's Association supports the consensus criteria developed by the
taskforce convened by the Association and Society of Nuclear Medicine and
Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) that describes appropriate use of brain amyloid
imaging. (Published online as an article in press on January 28, 2013,
byAlzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's
AssociationandJournal of Nuclear Medicine.) The Association recommends that
CMS cover brain amyloid imaging according to those criteria.

According to those criteria, appropriate candidates for amyloid PET imaging

  oThose who complain of persistent or progressive unexplained memory
    problems or confusion and who demonstrate impairments using standard tests
    of cognition and memory.
  oIndividuals meeting tests for possible Alzheimer's, but who are unusual in
    their clinical presentation.
  oIndividuals with progressive dementia and atypically early age of onset
    (before age 65).

The Alzheimer's Association recommends use of brain amyloid imaging and
associated insurance coverage primarily to clarify an unclear diagnosis in
people who are already experiencing memory and thinking symptoms. We do not
recommend its use in non-symptomatic people and a positive result is not a
definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Brain amyloid imaging is one more tool to
give doctors additional information to help clarify an otherwise unclear

About the Alzheimer's Association:
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health
organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to
eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide
and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of
dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without
Alzheimer's. For more information, visit

SOURCE Alzheimer's Association

Contact: Niles Frantz,, 312.335.5777, Alzheimer's
Association media line, 312.335.4078
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