Alzheimer’s Study Looks to Improve Diagnosis, Treatment
Jul 15, 2021
Karin Fleming
PET scan of the human brain

Hope may be on the horizon for people with Alzheimer’s disease. A new study aims to determine if a specific type of brain scan using PET (positron emission tomography) can improve diagnosis and treatment for people with the brain illness. Recruiting study participants from diverse backgrounds is one component of this new study.

“PET imaging that shows an accumulation of amyloid plaques can provide critical information to help confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in the earliest stages of the illness when the diagnosis may be unclear,” said Armen Moughamian, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and principal investigator of the New IDEAS study at CPMC. CPMC is part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit integrated network of care.

The original IDEAS study included more than 11,000 participants and provided the strongest data to date to support the role of brain amyloid PET scans in the management of patients with cognitive impairment.

Graphical image of AZ disease and neurons in the brain

Recruiting Diverse Study Participants

“There is currently limited information about the impact of amyloid PET scans in diverse patient populations,” says Dr. Moughamian. He says an important component of this next New IDEAS study will be recruiting people from diverse racial and ethnic groups.

“To support the study goals and Sutter’s commitment to advancing health equity, we aim to recruit more diverse patients. This will help ensure the findings are applicable to minority populations that were previously underrepresented in the initial study,” says Dr. Moughamian.

Who May be Eligible to Enroll?

The New IDEAS study is open to Medicare patients who have mild cognitive impairment or dementia, and who have been referred to the study by a Sutter dementia specialist. It is being offered to patients who qualify at CPMC in San Francisco now and will soon open for enrollment to qualifying patients at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.

Sutter hopes to enroll as many as 60 patients from communities across its Northern California footprint.

For more information about New IDEAS, contact CPMC’s Ray Dolby Brain Health Center at (415) 600-5555 or or visit the Sutter Sacramento memory clinic online.


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