- Alzheimer's Association Statement -
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Association is disappointed that the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) panel does not believe that there is adequate evidence whether or not PET imaging of brain beta amyloid changes health outcomes, and urges the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) to review the evidence and make a positive determination about coverage. The Association sincerely appreciates the opportunity to participate in this important review process.
The Alzheimer's Association strongly supports early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and believes that it leads to better outcomes and higher quality of life for people with Alzheimer's and their families. It does this by: enabling earlier access to appropriate treatments, allowing the family to build a care team and seek out education and support services, enabling enrollment in Alzheimer's/dementia clinical trials, and providing an opportunity for the development of advance directives and financial planning.
The Alzheimer's Association supports the consensus criteria developed by the taskforce convened by the Association and Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) that describes appropriate use of brain amyloid imaging. (Published online as an article in press on January 28, 2013, by Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association and Journal of Nuclear Medicine.) The Association recommends that CMS cover brain amyloid imaging according to those criteria.According to those criteria, appropriate candidates for amyloid PET imaging include:
- Those who complain of persistent or progressive unexplained memory problems or confusion and who demonstrate impairments using standard tests of cognition and memory.
- Individuals meeting tests for possible Alzheimer's, but who are unusual in their clinical presentation.
- Individuals with progressive dementia and atypically early age of onset (before age 65).