JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Some major developments are being made in the research to help Alzheimer's patients research is being done across the US, including in East Tennessee. The latest study may help identify patients with the disease.
Dr. Norman Moore is a professor of Psychiatry at ETSU's Quillen College of Medicine and he's one of 22-researchers across the US, leading the way to diagnose Alzheimer's in a living patient.
Until now doctors could not confirm the disease without an autopsy, but with the help of a PET scan, doctors can find out more.
"We've made this big step forward where we have a picture of plaques, while the patient is alive which an absolute new possibility," adds Moore.
Much of Moore's career has been dedicated to studying Alzheimer's and while there is not a cure for the disease, he says having a test to diagnose the disease could help all patients.
It can also lead some to the right treatment if their test is positive and it can be a big help to researchers who may use this test to get more qualified patients for future studies.
The new test isn't yet being paid for by insurance or Medicare, Dr. Moore is very optimistic about what's ahead for patients and that someday soon there could be a cure.
"There's a huge level of progress being made with the treatment and diagnosis of Alzheimer's and I expect some good to happen soon," adds Dr. Moore.
Dr. Moore says out of every 100 patients who are told they are likely have Alzheimer's, about 20 of those patients don't have the disease, but doctors cannot confirm it until an autopsy is done.
More tests and research are planned for the future and Dr. Moore says he'll let us know so people will have a chance to see if they qualify for the study.