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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to cover the cost of PET scans used to detect Alzheimer's disease

An imaging tool used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease will now be covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. 

PET scans — which stands for positron emission tomography scan — are expensive, yet they’re a proven tool used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

On Friday, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced it would now cover amyloid PET imaging.

In a statement, the Alzheimer’s Association said the news would enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis. With that, comes access to treatments such as the recently FDA-approved drug, Leqembi, which has been shown to slow the decline in memory and thinking.

The new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid policy to pay for PET scans beyond clinical trials also removes the current limitation of one scan per lifetime.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.