The movement favoring early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is gaining momentum

    By Kathleen Berger, Executive Producer for Science and Technology

    A Saint Louis University researcher advocates for the early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

    “Right now the focus of research in Alzheimer’s disease is to diagnose people as early as possible,” said George T. Grossberg, M.D., the Inaugural Henry & Amelia Nasrallah Endowed Professor and Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Saint Louis University. “Because if we do have an effective intervention, it can do the most good early on. We can prevent the brain cell death that’s going to occur if we catch it very early.”

    A policy change by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making a difference in 2024, by expanding coverage of brain amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) imaging for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The valuable Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic tool is now more accessible across the country.

    “This is the first time the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said that we care going to financially cover amyloid PET scan for the very early diagnosis of either mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease or very early Alzheimer’s dementia in cases where patients are considering, and being considered for, eligibility for the new monoclonal antibodies, like lecanemab (Leqembi).”

    In the HEC Media video, Grossberg explained the medication and how the policy change is a great step forward.