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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

FDA delays approval of Alzheimer's test scan

20 January 2011

A new test to detect or rule out Alzheimer's is not quite ready for prime time, an FDA advisory panel said on 20 January. The test, a type of PET scan developed by Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, is designed to detect the telltale buildups of amyloid plaque in the brain that signify Alzheimer's disease. While PET scans aren't new, this one uses a special radioactive marker known as florbetapir F 18 and developed under the brand name Amyvid. It's meant to be used when a doctor suspects Alzheimer's; a negative test -- meaning no detectable plaque -- would tell the doctor to consider a different diagnosis.

While the test is considered safe, members of the FDA's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee said Avid needs to do more work training the medical professionals who would administer it.

Full story from CNN