Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for about 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Research shows that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of all deaths in the United States. An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. In about forty years the rate of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to approach nearly a million people per year, with a total estimated rate of 11 to 16 million people.
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities, Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of daily living.
Many scientists are researching new ways to inexpensively and reliably diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier and with more accuracy. This disease is complex, and it is unlikely that any one intervention will be found to delay, prevent, or cure it. That’s why current approaches in treatment and research focus on several different aspects, including helping people maintain mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing or delaying the symptoms of disease.
Brain SPECT Scan is among the most promising areas of research focused on early detection of Alzheimer’s. Today, a standard workup for Alzheimer’s disease often includes structural imaging. These tests are currently used to rule out other conditions that may cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s but require different treatment. It will also help to differentiate which type of dementia the patient might have and will make the management of treatment much easier for patients and physicians.
Our staff and physicians are here to help. We believe that we can offer additional strategies for understanding your brain’s current functioning through the use of SPECT imaging, a functional brain imaging modality. If you have questions and would like to learn more or schedule an appointment contact us at 1-800-315-5739.