Navigation Links
Alzheimer's-like brain changes found in cognitively normal elders with amyloid plaques
Date:3/30/2011

Researchers using two brain-imaging technologies have found that apparently normal older individuals with brain deposits of amyloid beta the primary constituent of the plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients also had changes in brain structure similar to those seen in Alzheimer's patients. Results of the study, which has received early online publication in the Annals of Neurology, may help identify individuals who could be candidates for therapies to prevent the development of dementia.

"Our findings support the theory that Alzheimer's disease begins many years before symptoms appear and that amyloid plaque is an early sign of this process," says Keith Johnson, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Imaging, senior author of the study. "We see that when amyloid deposits are present, even in cognitively normal individuals, the degenerative changes of Alzheimer's are underway. Long-term studies to track these changes and observe how they evolve are ongoing."

Definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease requires finding amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain at autopsy. In recent years it has been possible to detect amyloid in living brains by PET scanning with an imaging agent known as Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB). Plaques have been observed in the brains of apparently healthy individuals, as well as those with dementia, but whether the presence of plaques indicates the early stages of Alzheimer's disease is not yet known.

High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging studies have identified characteristic changes in brain structure thinning of key cortical regions and reduced volume of structures such as the hippocampus in persons with mild cognitive impairment, in individuals known to carry gene mutations that directly cause Alzheimer's disease and in diagnosed Alzheimer's patients. A recent study reported similar brain changes in some cognitively normal elders but did not distinguish those who had amyloid deposits from those who did not.

The current study involved 87 cognitively normal older individuals and 32 patients diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's matched for age, gender and education who had enrolled in the long-term Harvard Aging Brain Study. Participants underwent both high-resolution MR imaging of brain structure and PET scanning with PiB to detect amyloid plaques. The results showed that those cognitively normal individuals who had amyloid plaques also had structural changes similar to but less pronounced than the neurodegenerative changes seen in the symptomatic patients. Structural changes were most evident in areas comprising what is called the default network, which is known to be affected early in the course of Alzheimer's disease.

"If amyloidosis deposits of amyloid plaques in the brains of clinically normal people is associated with Alzheimer's-like neurodegeneration, then amyloidosis itself may signify 'preclinical' AD," say Johnson, an associate professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. "We need to learn more about how long it takes a normal person with amyloid to develop AD, whether there are critical 'second hit' factors that convert amyloidosis to Alzheimer's disease, and if there are measures that can halt the process of neurodegeneration."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Longer Breast-Feeding May Be Key to Bigger Brains
2. For potentially crippling dystonia, earlier deep brain therapy gets better, quicker results
3. Deciphering hidden code reveals brain activity
4. UNC physician-scientist receives grant to study breast cancer brain metastases
5. Brain Stimulation Might Help Stroke Patients With Swallowing Problems
6. UCSF, UC Berkeley join forces to advance frontier of brain repair
7. NeuroImage: Multiplexing in the visual brain
8. Steroid May Help Cut Pneumonia Risk After Brain Trauma
9. Bilingual neurons may reveal the secrets of brain disease
10. Rat Study Sheds Light on How Alcohol Affects Young Brain
11. Self-administered light therapy may improve cognitive function after traumatic brain injury
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... Lafayette, California (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a pioneer in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership ... and health system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, an ... United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional part ... fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic image—like ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, ... Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility ... home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet ... product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural ... two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 ... ... respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need ... but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... inhaled drugs, announced today that it was added to ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity ... an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... of our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing ... thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: