Description of Medical ServiceIt is proposed that flurodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) brain imaging be Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) listed to diagnose Alzheimer Disease in patients with evidence of decline in memory or other areas of cognition when current diagnostic methods are inconclusive. Alzheimer Disease affects particular areas of the brain more than others. Loss of brain cell activity in these areas causes reduction in glucose use in these areas. This produces a characteristic pattern of reduced glucose use that can be seen with an FDG PET brain scan. FDG is a slightly radioactive form of glucose that can be safely injected into a patient. By showing areas of brain malfunction, the scan can assist doctors in making a diagnosis. FDG PET brain scans are already used to help surgeons identify the area of the brain causing focal seizures.
Description of Medical ConditionAlzheimer Disease is the most common cause of dementia, with the prevalence increasing as Australia’s population ages. It is relentlessly progressive and leads to severe disability and then death on an average of seven years from diagnosis. Symptoms of Alzheimer Disease are present for several years before diagnosis and the pathological process that leads to the dementia of Alzheimer Disease begins a decade or more before diagnosis.
Reason for ApplicationNew MBS item
Medical Service TypeInvestigative
Previous Application Number/s1195
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