Positron Emission Tomography Brain Scan

Could an emerging type of brain PET scan make life better for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients?

Provision Diagnostic Imaging and Genesis Neuroscience are teaming up in a nationwide study exploring how an emerging type of brain PET scan can help improve diagnosis and care for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The New IDEAS (Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning) study, conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association and American College of Radiology, seeks to find better ways to diagnose and treat patients with memory conditions by using medical brain imaging.

About the New IDEAS study

Specifically, researchers are focused on a brain imaging procedure called an amyloid PET scan, a non-invasive test that takes pictures of your brain. This type of scan uses positron emission tomography (PET) to identify buildup of amyloid plaques, which can impact how signals are sent to and from the brain. The results of an amyloid PET scan can help differentiate between Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. That is crucial information for physicians as they formulate a patient’s care plan.

Another hallmark of the New IDEAS study is its commitment to diversity, ensuring the results represent all racial and ethnic groups. Historically, minorities have not been well-represented in clinical studies of memory conditions. However, it’s important for new treatments to be safe and effective for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association says more than half of the 7,000 projected New IDEAS participants will be Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino.

Benefit to East Tennessee Patients

As part of our mission to bring the world’s leading innovation and technology to East Tennessee, Provision Diagnostic Imaging is working with Dr. Monica Crane and Genesis Neuroscience to find participants for the study and administer their amyloid PET scans. We are the only imaging center in Tennessee participating in the New IDEAS study. Likewise, Genesis Neuroscience is Tennessee’s only participating memory doctor.

“This partnership benefits the entire memory care community by helping to make the national study a success. It helps patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and the related dementias in East Tennessee,” says Dr. Crane.

She explains that having access to the New IDEAs study is important for East Tennesseans with memory concerns because Medicare is currently only covering amyloid PET scans for patients who join the study. The PET scan images could also lead to better care for patients now, and the results of the study could potentially help memory care providers, patients, and caregivers in the future.

In addition to these clinical benefits, the partnership between Provision and Genesis offers several convenient perks to enhance the patient experience. Our imaging center is a free-standing, outpatient facility with ample, open parking and ground floor access. We also share a campus with Genesis Neuroscience, with both offices located at Dowell Springs on Middlebrook Pike in west Knoxville.

Community Support to Help the Cause

To help fund her efforts to improve memory care in East Tennessee, Dr. Crane created the Tennessee Memory Disorders Foundation (TMDF). It’s a non-profit organization on a mission to provide support for comprehensive community care for people with cognitive disorders and neurodegenerative dementias.

“Donations from the community help improve lives for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in East Tennessee by supporting research, care, and prevention,” explains Dr. Crane. “We also strive to ensure future generations are in capable hands through internship opportunities at our clinic. Undergraduate students get to experience, firsthand, the course of neurodegenerative diseases, and assist our community’s leading healthcare providers in the diagnosis and treatment of such illnesses.”

As part of its fundraising efforts, TMDF is hosting a family-friendly event at Orange Hat Brewing Company from 6-9pm on August 18, 2023. “Fall Into Orange” will be a fun night of tasty food, refreshing beverages, and great live music provided by Knoxville’s own “The Chillbillies.” Tickets are $20, and all funds go directly to the foundation’s efforts in supporting people who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Please visit the “Fall Into Orange” event page to purchase tickets and learn more about the event.