Citizens Memorial Hospital’s Missouri Memory Center is now a registered dementia specialist site in the $100 million Imaging Dementia Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study (Ideas-Study.org). Missouri Memory Center is enrolling eligible Medicare patients in the trial to determine the clinical usefulness of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of brain amyloid deposits in the diagnosis of patients who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
“Medicare will only cover these exams for seniors if done as part of clinical trial or data registry. Currently, no private insurer covers amyloid PET scans for patients being evaluated for dementia or memory loss. Local providers can refer eligible patients to Missouri Memory Center so these patients can get Medicare-covered care that may help them and better inform future Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment,” said Curtis P. Schreiber, M.D., board certified neurologist in practice with CMH Neurology Clinic and medical director of Missouri Memory Center in Bolivar.
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s is complex. With no single test currently available, diagnosis is based on an individual’s history, physical examination and cognitive testing. Amyloid PET imaging represents a potential major advance in the assessment of those with cognitive impairment. The scan visualizes plaques present in the brain, which are prime suspects in damaging and killing nerve cells in Alzheimer’s. Before amyloid PET, these plaques could only be detected by examining the brain at autopsy. The first-of-its-kind IDEAS Study will follow Medicare beneficiaries for up to four years to determine if amyloid PET scans may help doctors make more informed treatment decisions.
“There has never been a study of this scale to evaluate the clinical value of brain amyloid imaging in diagnosing and caring for those affected by Alzheimer’s. The dementia specialists and facilities that register for the IDEAS Study will play an essential role in engaging the nearly 19,000 individuals needed in the study and carrying out the amyloid PET scans,” said Maria Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer and IDEAS Study co-chair.
Patients cannot directly enroll in the IDEAS Study. IDEAS study dementia specialists, such as Missouri Memory Center, must enroll patients whose cases meet the study criteria and refer them for an amyloid PET scan. These scans will be performed and interpreted by a nuclear medicine physician or radiologist. Results will be provided to the ordering physician for disclosure to the patient and to support further diagnostic decisions. Scan results and diagnosis will be captured for the study.
The IDEAS Study is sponsored by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), with funding and direction provided by theAlzheimer’s Association, the ACR and the manufacturers of the FDA-approved radiopharmaceuticals for amyloid imaging.
To refer patients for the IDEAS study via Missouri Memory Center, contact Dr. Schreiber, who serves as the principal investigator and lead referring dementia specialist for the IDEAS study at the Missouri Memory Center.
For more information or to refer patients for evaluation for enrollment of this study, call the Missouri Memory Center at 417-327-3530. For more information about the IDEAS study, go to www.ideas-study.org.