An advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously Thursday that the FDA should approve a brain scan that can identify the beta amyloid plaques that characterize Alzheimer’s in living persons. The FDA typically follows the advice of the advisory committee.

Prior to the development of this new scan, the only way Alzheimer’s researchers could identify such plaques was by conducting an autopsy. The advisory committee said that approval is contingent upon physicians being trained how to read and interpret the scans. Researchers say that if the FDA votes to approve the scan, it could be in widespread use quickly.

McKnight’s first reported Thursday that the advisory committee was scheduled to vote on the scan and that they were expected to approve it.