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The diagnosis of dementia can be difficult for clinicians, particularly in the early stages, due to a variety of reasons. Higher education levels, the use of certain medications and other medical conditions can cause difficulty with routine testing. A high level of certainty is needed in order to make a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or other neurodegenerative disorder, due to the possible emotional impacts on the patient and their family, and therapeutic regimes vary depending on the cause of the dementia. Clinically based testing is useful however does not always allow for a definitive diagnosis. FDG PET scan is a highly useful imaging technique for the diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. Characteristic patterns seen on the FDG PET scan significantly improve the diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.



A PET scan uses a small amount of a

radioactive tracer which is injected

into a patient’s vein. Images are then

taken to show the distribution of the

tracer in the body. When you go for

your PET scan, a cannula will be

inserted into your arm and the

radioactive tracer is injected. You will

need to wait in the uptake room for

45-90mins while the tracer distributes

through the body. You will then be

taken to the scanner room and lie on

the bed for 20-45 mins as the images

are taken. 

Medicare has recently announced that PET scans used in diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease, are now fully bulk billed through Medicare. This announcement from Medicare will help increase the access to early diagnostic imaging for patients with suspected symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Each patient is only eligible for bulk billing of 3 PET scan in their lifetime.


FDG PET Scans can be performed at Knox Private Hospital through Lumus Imaging (formerly Healthcare Imaging). 

Brain Scan
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