Why diagnosing Alzheimer’s, while painful, has value

Dwaine Rieves retired in 2013 as director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Medical Imaging Products, where he was part of a team that reviewed clinical data on amyloid-imaging PET scans.

A couple of generations back, two women in my family “lost their minds.” One started wandering in her 60s, the other became obsessed with dolls in her late teens. The wanderer died at home in 1945, and best I can now tell, the regressing teenager died in a sanitarium about the same year.

As a boy, I vaguely recall an occasional impolite question about one or the other woman. The answer was always delivered with a lowered voice: She lost her mind. That was it, end of conversation — she just lost her mind. Just as when it sometimes happened to other folks in town, maybe from bad well water, from poisoning, perhaps spite or sin. Read more.

Tags: Brain PET

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