PET and the Brain
PET is very useful in revealing the very distinctive pattern of decreased brain metabolism caused by Alzheimer's Disease. What's more, PET can recognize the disease quite early in its progress -- sometimes years before physicians can confirm a diagnosis with other types of tests. And with early diagnosis, doctors can provide therapies that are more effective earlier in the course of the disease.
PET scans can also help differentiate between Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, such as vascular dementia, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. And, again, these distinctions are very important in guiding physicians in their treatment options.
In epilepsy patients, PET is also one of the most accurate tests for identifying the specific local areas of the brain that cause seizures. PET scans help determine if surgery is a treatment option, and pinpoint the tissue that must be removed for a successful surgical cure.
Doylestown Hospital Patient
"My dad was so forgetful we all suspected it was Alzheimer's. But his PET scan showed his dementia was actually caused by a stroke he suffered earlier, which changed the way the doctors approached his care."
PET and the Heart
By measuring blood flow and metabolic activity within the heart, a PET scan can help your doctor identify areas with reduced blood flow that can indicate blockages. Thanks to new advances in the speed and resolution of acquired images, PET/CT is a highly effective tool in identifying coronary artery disease. It can also distinguish between living heart muscle and muscle which is damaged or dead. For this reason, PET/CT is useful for determining the viability of heart tissue when your physician is considering treatment options, including bypass surgery or revascularization.