The Imaging Dementia—Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study, the largest ongoing study in dementia research investigating the use of amyloid PET scans at sites across the nation including the Penn Memory Center, closed enrollment in December ahead of schedule.
An initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Association, the goal of the IDEAS study is to provide amyloid PET scans to Medicare beneficiaries, in order to evaluate the impact of these scans on the medical management of patients whose cause of dementia or cognitive impairment is still unknown.
Amyloid PET scans are used by physicians to detect or exclude Alzheimer’s disease as an underlying cause of dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services don’t currently cover amyloid PET scans, they are open to the possibility of using it within research. That is where the IDEAS study comes in: the study has enrolled over 18,000 Medicare participants, with Medicare agreeing to provide coverage for an amyloid PET scan for each participant, in order to collect data on the use of amyloid PET scans within clinical practice.
“Reaching enrollment two months early demonstrates there is a great demand for amyloid PET as a tool to assist with proper diagnosis and improve care for people with Alzheimer’s,” said Maria Carrillo, Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Preliminary data so far suggests that information from amyloid PET scans has a large impact on clinical practice, affecting the medical management of 67.8% of patients with MCI and 65.9% of patients with dementia.
The results of the IDEAS study is set to come out in fall 2018. If promising, these results might be a step towards providing more comprehensive Medicare coverage of amyloid PET scans where appropriate for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Read the full press release from the Alzheimer’s Association.