First PET Scan to Detect Concussional Dementia in Living Patient
In September 2014 Dr. Samuel Gandy of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published a cases study in the journal Translational Psychiatry detailing the use of PET scanning with a radioactive tracer called [18 F]-T807 which can diagnose dementia from significant concussive damage in a living patient’s brain. The new technique is able to visualize abnormal accumulation of tau protein in brain cells that distinguish concussion-generated dementia from the buildup of beta-amyloid protein seen in Alzheimer’s Disease (which is a non-traumatic degenerative brain disease). The people at highest risk of dementia from tau protein buildup secondary to concussion are victims of severe TBI; football and hockey players who suffer multiple concussions; and soldiers exposed to bomb blast shock waves in war.
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