GE highlights technology for early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease

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GE Healthcare was on board showcasing its technologies and R &D efforts for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease at the Alzheimer's Association's 9th Annual International Conference on Alzheimer's disease and Related Disorders, July 17 - 22, in Philadelphia.

GE introduced its first commercially available PET/CT scanner in 2001. GE's Discovery ST PET/CT system offers 2D, 3D and 4D imaging modes and a 70 cm-wide patient bore. 4D imaging includes 2D or 3D dynamic imaging, 2D or 3D cardiac gated imaging and works-in-progress respiratory-gated imaging.

MRI is being used as a tool to help physicians identify patients at risk for Alzheimer's or with pre-clinical Alzheimer's disease. GE showcased its 3-Tesla MR scanner, the Signa Excite 3T, being used with clinical partners at Albany Medical Center in New York to identify changes in brain iron content that may be correlated with the development of Alzheimer's disease.

GE's Global Research Center recently joined forces with Albany Medical Center to open the Neurosciences Advanced Imaging Research Center, a facility designed to aid scientists and researchers in the discovery of new techniques to diagnose Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition, GE highlighted IMANET, International Network of Imaging Research Centers, which was launched by former Amersham plc (now part of GE Healthcare) in February 2001. GE said a team of researchers plan to initiate the first multi-center trial of an amyloid imaging agent through its IMANET network to test Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB), an imaging agent licensed by the company from the University of Pittsburgh in late 2003. PIB is undergoing formal clinical evaluation to better understand its potential use in identifying amyloid plaque in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.