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New York Times Features Beeson Scholar Reisa Sperling

Jul 12

New York Times Features Beeson Scholar Reisa Sperling View MoreBACK

Reisa Sperling, MD, was featured for her work on Alzheimer's disease plaque detection in a July 12 New York Times article, “New Scan May Spot Alzheimer’s." Dr. Sperling is part of an exciting new path of research examining a new scanning technique by Avid Radiopharmaceuticals. Currently, the only definitive way a doctor can diagnose Alzheimer’s is to find plaque in the patient’s brain during autopsy. The possibility of being able to conclusively diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before death is very exciting given that it can be misdiagnosed up to 20% of the time. AVID’s presentation of their findings proved that the scanning technique could find as much plaque as a pathologist during an autopsy. Radiologists studied scans of the brains of 35 dying patients, and a post-death comparison between the pathologists’ report and the scans matched 34 out of 35 times. Dr. Sperling, who was co-chairman at the AVID presentation, is looking forward to investigating whether the scans could predict Alzheimer’s before patients start to exhibit symptoms. Dr. Sperling is an associate professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Clinical Research at the Memory Disorders Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  She received a 2003 Paul Beeson Career Development Award in Aging Research.