Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a type of neuroimaging, which allows for the visualisation of the amyloid plaques in the brain. It uses small amounts of radioactive materials called tracers. These tracers are ‘attached’ to particular compounds of interest in the brain and injected into the body. A scanner detects signals from the tracer to see how much of the compound of interest is in the brain.
PET tracers have recently been approved for marketing, which allows for wider use of PET imaging to detect ß-amyloid accumulation in the brain. AMYPAD used two ß-amyloid PET tracers, which are called florbetaben and flutemetamol. As commercial products, they are called NEURACEQTM and VIZAMYLTM.
Watch the video developed by Alzheimer’s Society to know how a PET scan is performed