As dementia rates continue to rise in the UK, The Royal Liverpool University Hospital is proud of its fight in aiding early diagnosis of the condition with the help of its Symbia® TruePoint SPECT•CT system from Siemens Healthcare.
Patients from all across the North West of England are referred to the hospital with memory problems where they can be tested using various Nuclear Medicine imaging methods. Since the installation of the Siemens SPECT•CT system 5 years ago, the hospital has conducted over a thousand brain scans, helping to identify Alzheimer’s as early in its development as possible The system has proven to be useful when a patient has some recognisable problems but the exact diagnosis is unsure.
Due to other conditions producing similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s disease, detailed brain images can help to give confidence to clinicians in difficult cases. A particular type of imaging, using the Siemens SPECT•CT and a contrast agent, detects the presence of dopamine transporters in the brain and has been used at the hospital to help differentiate Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease.
“An early, correct diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease gives the drugs known as Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors the best chance to have a positive effect. If we rule out this specific disease then we can stop patients having to take medication that will have no useful effect,” states Professor Sobhan Vinjamuri, Lead Consultant of Nuclear Medicine at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital. “Even without drug therapy, early diagnosis importantly allows both patients and their families time to understand the progression of the disease and enables them to plan and access support services early in order to maintain healthy independent living for as long as possible.”
Gillian Wardropova, Regional Sales Manager at Siemens Healthcare states, “Royal Liverpool Hospital is taking the war against dementia very seriously. Patients that are being diagnosed early are able to benefit from the most appropriate support. The Symbia SPECT•CT offers excellent and consistent image quality to ensure a clear and confident diagnosis, helping to identify symptoms of dementia as early as possible.”
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