SPECT stands for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). This type of scan utilizes a special camera that can detect gamma rays from a radioactive tracer injected into the patient’s bloodstream.
As the tracer travels through the brain, it accumulates in areas with increased activity, and the SPECT machine detects this. The scan produces an image that shows areas of the brain with either too much or too little activity, which helps physicians make an accurate diagnosis.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning involves injecting the patient with glucose tagged with radioactive isotopes. As glucose enters cells in various body parts, it emits gamma rays detected by unique cameras on a PET scanner. The scan produces images that doctors can use to spot changes in brain activity associated with dementia, such as reduced blood flow or activity in specific brain areas.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of dementia, talk to your doctor about getting one or both types of scans done as part of your diagnosis process.
The Benefits of Imaging Tests
In addition to providing valuable information about a person’s brain health, imaging tests can also monitor changes in the brain over time. This is especially helpful for diagnosing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, which typically progresses slowly over many years.
Using imaging tests regularly, clinicians can measure how quickly a person’s condition progresses and adjust treatments accordingly. In some cases, imaging tests may even be able to detect signs of dementia before symptoms have begun to appear.
Imaging tests are an invaluable tool for diagnosing and treating dementia patients. They can provide detailed images of the brain, revealing abnormalities caused by age or disease that may not be visible on other diagnostic tests. In addition, they allow clinicians to monitor changes in the brain over time which can help track progression rates and adjust treatments accordingly. Ultimately, these types of testing will help us better understand this complex disorder and find ways to more accurately diagnose and effectively treat it in the future.
Contact ImageCare Radiology
If your doctor schedules an imaging test to help diagnose or treat dementia in you or a loved one, call ImageCare Centers immediately. We offer state-of-the-art imaging at a fraction of the cost of hospitals and urgent care clinics. Contact us today at 973-871-3333 to schedule an appointment or complete our convenient online appointment request form.