Dementia: Cancer scanner ‘may assist early diagnoses’

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A PET scan result
Image caption Pet scans – often used to diagnose most cancers – may assist establish types of dementia

A most cancers scanner could possibly be used to establish a number of the earliest and most tough to diagnose types of dementia, scientists have stated.

Doctors at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff stated its PET scanner may present indicators of the situation in people who find themselves not displaying signs.

About 47% of individuals in Wales living with dementia would not have a analysis.

The Welsh Government stated it’s investing £10m a yr in its dementia motion plan.

Image caption The solely everlasting PET scanner in Wales is at UHW in Cardiff

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans – utilizing a radioactive tracer drug – reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning.

A pilot has been happening throughout the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) over the previous few months for sufferers who’re suspected of getting dementia.

Prof Chris Marshall, director of Wales Research and Diagnostic PET Imaging Centre stated he hopes the scanner may “give a diagnosis much earlier than the disease’s progression”.

Dr Chineze Ivenso, chair of the outdated age college on the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, stated the nation was the one a part of the UK which doesn’t take a look at on this means.

“When it comes to diagnosing dementia, Wales has been lagging behind for some time,” she stated.

“A PET scanner offers patients the opportunity to have an earlier diagnosis, and in certain cases it offers a more accurate diagnosis. In doing that we can offer patients an opportunity to have psychological support and lifestyle interventions earlier in the course of their illness.”

Image caption Dr Ivenso stated Wales is “lagging behind” different components of the UK in the case of dementia

In Wales 47% of individuals living with dementia are undiagnosed, in comparison with 34% in the remainder of the UK.

Dr Ivenso stated the machine was additionally able to recognizing indicators of dementia in individuals who hadn’t but skilled signs, though dementia screening was not at the moment really helpful by NICE.

“Having dementia means that you have plaques in your brain that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes early on, if these plaques start developing in the brain than the PET scanner can pick that up. That person may have some signs of the disease developing without the symptoms yet beginning to present.”

The Welsh Government stated: “We recognise the importance of timely diagnosis of dementia in helping to manage the condition. We are investing £10m a year to support our dementia action plan, which includes projects across Wales to improve diagnosis rates.”

It stated Public Health Wales was working with GPs and reminiscence evaluation providers to enhance analysis.