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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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U.S. FDA Approves Possible Alzheimer's Test
9 April 2012 5:03 pm
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a radioactive compound for evaluating people with cognitive impairment for Alzheimer's disease. The drug, called Amyvid, binds to amyloid plaques, the calling card of Alzheimer's disease in the brain. When administered before a PET scan, Amyvid allows doctors to see whether amyloid has begun to build up. A negative test reduces the likelihood that a patient's cognitive problems are due to Alzheimer's, FDA said in its approval letter, but a positive test does not necessarily confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
The compound was developed by Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Eli Lilly and Company in 2010. Last year, an FDA panel decided to hold off on approving Amyvid pending more compelling evidence that different doctors would read the scans consistently. Lilly subsequently developed an online training course for neuroradiologists to ensure consistent readings.
Amyvid has been used in research, including clinical trials, for years, says Michael Weiner, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and principal investigator of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The compound will be a powerful tool for clinicians when used in combination with other diagnostic tests, Weiner says. But there are potential downsides, too. "There are many concerns: that it could be overused in general, that it could be misused and there will be false diagnoses, both false positives and false negatives," Weiner says. "The medical community is going to have to develop its own standards for how to use it."