New tool in Louisville helping doctors detect Alzheimer’s earlie - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New tool in Louisville helping doctors detect Alzheimer’s earlier

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---A new tool in Louisville is expected to help doctors diagnose Alzheimer's patients quicker than ever before.

It's the first test of this kind in Kentucky.

Kentuckiana doctors are hopeful the tool will give them a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.

"And we can potentially start treating these people many, many years ahead of the development of any symptoms,” said Dr. Bart Rydzewski.

Norton Diagnostic Center in St. Matthews is now the first facility in Kentucky to offer this kind of Amyvid scan.

What they are looking for are amyloid plaques.

They appear in the brain of Alzheimer's patients at least 10 years before symptoms start kicking in.

This new scan will catch them earlier than ever before.

In the past, doctors could only spot them when it was too late.

“We had to wait until the patient unfortunately dies and then do an autopsy and then under microscope we were able to see those plaques,” said Dr. Rydzewski.

Now the new scan will give that same information.

Doctors say this is the first scan in history that can detect the presence of the Amyloid plaques, which are abnormal clumps of brain cells.

It's being called a big breakthrough for Alzheimer's patients, or those concerned they may have the disease.

“The patient who is suspected of having Alzheimer disease has to go through a neurological evaluation, so a brain doctor needs to evaluate this patient very closely,” said Dr. Rydzewski.

Doctors say it's especially helpful when further testing is needed to see what condition a patient is suffering from.

“This particular scan will guide neurologists in the case of doubt whether they are dealing with a patient of Alzheimer disease or some other type of dementia,” said Dr. Rydzewski.

The FDA approved this particular scan in 2012.

Doctors have been able to use it in Louisville for the past 2 weeks.

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