FDA advisory panel approves Alzheimer s test: Memorable news

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The New York Times reported on Friday that an FDA advisory panel recommended the approval of an imaging test for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) which can detect plaque build-up in the brain and provide early warning of the first signs of the disease. AD currently affects five million Americans, and the figure is likely to rise rapidly as the population ages.

The agency usually follows the recommendations of these panels. However, the approval is contingent on training for radiologists who must interpret the brain scans, which will be marketed by a company called Avid Radiopharmaceuticals. The test will be offered under the brand name Amvid.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross says that these are welcome developments. “The earlier we can diagnose the disease, the earlier we will eventually be able to treat it and either slow or — perhaps someday — even reverse its course,” he says. “As our population ages, the numbers of its victims increases, and it’s devastating both to its sufferers and to the affected families. So, knowing what’s happening as soon as possible is tremendously valuable.”