We’ve been told you can only confirm the presence of Alzheimer’s disease in a living person through something called a PET scan or a lumbar puncture test. Those tests detect the presence of a sticky substance in the brain called beta amyloid plaque but are extremely expensive and aren’t generally covered by insurers.
Now scientists at University of Toronto and Baycrest Rotman Research Institute have found a simple scan that can detect the earliest signs of dementia before symptoms occur. They scanned the part of the brain responsible for memory and found that having less tissue in the region is associated with greater risk of the dementia. This study looked at 40 adults between the ages of 59 -81.
Here’s where you can read more.
UPDATE, 20 November 2023: As of a landmark policy change in October 2023, Medicare now covers beta-amyloid PET scans for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.