Applying the Amyloid Cascade to the Diagnosis and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease– Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects over 5 million Americans over the age of 65. The disease is associated with cognitive decline and memory loss, and eventually leads to the inability to carry out activities of daily living. By 2050, the number of Americans with this disease could increase to over 15 million. Alzheimer’s disease places a significant burden on those affected by the disease and on society. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that the cost of AD in the United States (in people over 65 years old) was $183 billion in 2011, and by 2050 is projected to be $1.1 trillion.
Both the diagnosis and treatment of AD present a challenge to physicians. There are currently no available biomarkers for the disease and physicians must rely on clinical criteria, standardized brief mental status exams, and neuropsychological tests to reach a diagnosis. The amyloid beta PET tracer, florbetapir, has recently been approved to aid in the diagnosis of AD, and 2 additional agents, florbetaben and flutemetamol, are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. In addition, new disease-modifying agents are entering Phase 3 trials and may eventually help to retard the progression of AD.
This educational activity will review emerging imaging criteria for AD and PET imaging radiotracers and their associative diagnostics for AD. The activity will also focus on reading and interpreting amyloid-PET imaging in patients with AD, the use of PET imaging tracers to differentiate among patients with varying levels of cognitive impairment based on Abeta load, and emerging immunotherapy treatment approaches.
Explain how to apply emerging imaging diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in clinical settings. Describe amyloid-PET image reading and interpretation in patients with AD. Review the use of PET imaging tracers and their associative diagnostics in determining the level of cognitive impairment based on the presence of beta-amyloid. Describe the role of amyloid imaging in the development of emerging immunotherapy treatments for AD.
1.0 Free CEUs for Nurses
This course also offers Free CEUs for Physicians