A national approach for FDG-PET scanning to aid diagnosis of dementia

Wales news
01 September 2021

A national and collaborative approach to offer FDG-PET scanning throughout Wales has been implemented, with the aim to increase the effective and timely diagnosis of dementia.

This approach follows a successful pilot project from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board's (ABUHB) Older Adult Mental Health, and Radiology Directorate; with support from Wales Research and Diagnostic Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Centre (PETIC) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales.

This unique, national approach is now in place with the support of the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) and the Welsh Government.

Dr Chineze Ivenso, Chair of the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, RCPsych Wales said:

“Early accurate diagnosis plays a vital role in the treatment of Dementia. It’s important that Psychiatrists are given access to the diagnostic tools and the training to help reduce the progression of this debilitating illness by way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest opportunity.

It’s really exciting to have this collaborative and strategic approach to implementing new diagnostic tools throughout Wales. Amongst others, I must acknowledge the work of Dr Rui Zheng, Prof Chris Marshall and Dr Brian Huey in supporting this project from its earliest stage"

The full project has been captured - Case Study: Increasing Dementia Diagnosis Rates in Wales.

This work compliments the recent RCPsych and Alzheimer’s Research UK report - Are we ready to offer disease modifying treatments?.

Additionally, you can find further detail on the upcoming event Brain health and effective, early diagnosis of dementia that’s being delivered by the Wales Faculty.


  • Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) affected 46,800 people in Wales in 2019, with numbers projected to increase to 55,700 by 2025 and 79,700 by 2040 (1).
  • 1 in 14 people above 65 years are affected by AD and 2/3rd's are women who are the major care givers (2).
  • Key aspirations for the Dementia Action Plan Wales (PDF) are to increase the number of people formally diagnosed with dementia by 3% annually and to improve early diagnosis and timely interventions.

(1) Wittenberg R et al (2019) Projection of older people with dementia and costs of dementia care in the UK 2019 -2040, Care Policy & Evaluation Centre, the London School of Economics and Political Science

(2) Prince, M et al (2014) Dementia UK: Update Second Edition report produced by King’s College London and the London School of Economics for the Alzheimer’s Society

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