PET index predicts likelihood of dementia within 3 years

September 10, 2013

PET index predicts likelihood of dementia within 3 years

California researchers have developed a quantitative index based on functional brain data from PET scans to predict with a high degree of accuracy whether people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) will progress to dementia within three years.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) developed the Dementia Prognosis Index (DPI) software as a way of quantifying information derived from PET scans and improving the modality's ability to predict whether a patient will develop Alzheimer's disease.

Study results showed that the PET-derived DPI scores provided more conclusive information for half of the participants in a group whose initial PET scans were indeterminate. Among those whose prognostic status changed, 77% were deemed likely to develop dementia. Conversely, among those whose scans remained indeterminate, only 21% progressed to dementia three years later.