Brain Scan Rules Out Alzheimer's in Ex-NFL Player

July 17, 2013

A tracer-enhanced PET scan for beta-amyloid plaques helped doctors arrive at a correct diagnosis in a former pro football player with progressive cognitive impairment, a researcher said here.

The unnamed player was finally diagnosed with a form of post-traumatic dementia with possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), rather than Alzheimer's disease, after the PET scan showed no evidence of beta-amyloid plaques in his brain, said Effie Mitsis, MD, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.