Hattiesburg Clinic Memory Center, Imaging Departments Offering Study to Improve Care for Alzheimer’s

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - This is a press release from Hattiesburg Clinic.

Hattiesburg Clinic’s Memory Center and Imaging departments are partnering to offer a study that could ultimately improve the method of care for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study focuses on brain images that may help physicians diagnose Alzheimer’s disease sooner. Images of the brain are taken via amyloid PET scans. These images show physicians if there is a significant amount of amyloid plaque build-up.

That, according to Ronald L. Schwartz, MD, CPI, could be a strong indicator that a person could eventually be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“There has been new evidence revealing that amyloid build-up over time could lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid plaques are sticky clumps of protein in the brain, which are associated with this disease. Whether or not these plaques are present could help us determine the likelihood that a patient’s symptoms are caused by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Schwartz, director and principal investigator at Memory Center.

If the plaques are present, the PET imaging will highlight them. A follow-up visit will be scheduled with the patient, during which the specialist will discuss the scan results and use that information in helping the patient plan his or her future.

“Ultimately, the goal is to show how important the PET scans are in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Schwartz. “Although there is no cure yet, early treatment can slow the progression of the disease, and that is the standard of care we are aiming for through this study.”

More than 5 million Americans may be living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the National Institute on Aging. Hattiesburg Clinic Memory Center is the only facility within a 300-mile radius offering the IDEAS Study. Medicare has agreed to cover the cost of the scans for this research study; therefore only Medicare patients 65 years of age or older are eligible to participate.

Schwartz said he is currently accepting new participants for the study.

“My hope is that this study will pave the way to changing the landscape for how we treat Alzheimer’s patients and provide them with the best quality of life possible for as long as we can,” he said.

To learn more about the IDEAS Study, including eligibility requirements, visit www.hattiesburgclinic.com/memorycenter, or call 1-877-91-MEMORY (1-877-916-3667).

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