Supplements should ensure a more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

Adnet scans
Better access to advanced diagnostic scans will lead to more accurate and faster diagnosis. Image: ADNet

The Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT), led by the University of Melbourne, has welcomed the Australian Government’s decision to subsidize the cost of positron emission tomography (PET) scans to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

ADNet Director University of Melbourne Professor Christopher Rowe said that dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is currently misdiagnosed about 30 percent of the time.

He said this means that some patients who may actually have a curable condition may be prescribed the wrong drugs. With patients previously paying up to $ 1,000, the Australian government’s decision to add the scans to the Medicare Benefits Schedule makes it far more affordable and will result in much better results for patients across Australia, he said.

“The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, which is such a devastating and ultimately fatal condition, must be accurate,” said Professor Rowe, who, along with Austin Health, has spearheaded the addition of diagnostic technology to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). ) for the last seven years.

“Diagnosis by traditional clinical assessment has not changed in 30 years. This is now unacceptable with the recent development of better diagnostic tests and new treatments. The better access to advanced diagnostic scans allowed by this MBS add-on will lead to more accurate and faster diagnosis. The Australian Dementia Network is driving the development of better tests and treatments and is calling for more investment in research into the prevention and cure of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “

Dementia affecting up to 472,000 people in Australia is the second leading cause of death and the single largest cause of disability among older Australians.

Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, an early diagnosis of all forms of dementia helps to delay the onset of more severe symptoms, ensure the best treatments and help patients live independently for longer.

The Minister of Health and Elderly Care, Greg Hunt, said the government was committed to ensuring that Australians can access the latest in healthcare diagnosis and treatment.

“This is a significant development for Australians and their families. This list will benefit thousands of Australians who, through early and accurate diagnosis, will be able to seek early treatment,” said Minister Hunt. and ensure more affordable access to PET scans and Alzheimer’s diagnosis. “

Professor Rowe has prepared a training video to help diagnostic imaging specialists with PET scanning. The video can be accessed here.

ADneT is a partnership of leading dementia researchers from 15 institutions across Australia.

Public Release. This material from the original organization / authors may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions are those of the author (s). See in full here.

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