Navigation Links
Brain Scans Detect Alzheimer's Disease Quickly
Date:6/24/2008

New technique could speed the diagnosis, French researchers say

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- French radiologists report they've simplified a method of scanning the brain for signs of Alzheimer's disease, potentially making it easier to diagnose the mind-robbing condition.

It's too early for doctors to start routinely using the approach, but early tests are encouraging, said study author Olivier Colliot, a researcher from the Cognitive Neuroscience and Brain Imaging Laboratory at the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris.

Currently, the procedure required to diagnose the disease is "time-consuming and requires specific expertise," explained Colliot. "As a result, it hasn't become part of clinical routine. Our method allows performing this procedure automatically and within a few minutes."

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, and it's thought to affect one in 20 people between the ages of 65 and 74. The estimated rate goes up to nearly half among those 85 and older.

But diagnosing Alzheimer's disease isn't easy. The only way to be certain is to examine brain tissue after death. During life, doctors try to confirm an Alzheimer's diagnosis with a variety of tests and are right up to 90 percent of the time, according to the NIH.

One approach is to use MRI scans of the brain to determine whether brain tissue is shrinking.

This is a very recent development, Colliot said. Previously, doctors relied on MRI scans in the brain to detect tumors.

Alzheimer's shrinks the part of the brain known as the hippocampus, and MRI scans can pick up a problem. But the existing technique requires a radiologist to manually trace the contours of the brain, a process that can take an hour, Colliot said.

The approach is tedious, not highly reliable and not practical for wide use, said Dr. R. Nick Bryan, chairman of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

The French researchers developed a technique that allows a computer to calculate the size of the hippocampus within minutes.

Colliot and colleagues tried their technique on 25 Alzheimer's patients, 24 patients with mild cases of cognitive impairment and memory loss, and 25 seniors who were healthy. They reported their findings in the July issue of Radiology.

The researchers found that the hippocampus was about a third smaller in the Alzheimer's patients than in the healthy ones and 19 percent smaller in those with cognitive impairment.

Doctors were able to correctly distinguish those with Alzheimer's' disease from healthy people 84 percent of the time.

Alzheimer's disease is not curable, but doctors can prescribe drugs to treat symptoms once they have a diagnosis, Colliot said.

At the moment, the new technique isn't ready for prime time, said Bryan. "A number of papers using different, but similar computer analytical approaches have been published, and there is no question that this will eventually be the preferred technique," he noted. "However, the different methods have not been sufficiently validated for routine use."

But once a technique is proven, it should help doctors diagnose Alzheimer's early and track whether medications are working properly, Bryan said.

More information

Learn more about diagnosing Alzheimer's disease from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.



SOURCES: Olivier Colliot, Ph.D., researcher, Cognitive Neuroscience and Brain Imaging Laboratory, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris; R. Nick Bryan, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia; July 2008, Radiology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
2. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
3. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
4. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
5. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
6. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
9. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
10. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
11. Brain Lesions Predict MS Progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Brain Scans Detect Alzheimer's Disease Quickly
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released ... understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture ... Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains ... possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to ... dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, Dr. ... Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to suffer ... Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ... the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder ... maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Maryland (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... magnetic drug delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of ... can lead to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... 2017   Divoti USA will engrave and ... standard of the latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding ... in need of Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, ... engraved in terms of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ® , a ... promise of precision medicine, today announced that St. Jude ... Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 th member. ... Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help develop standards of ... tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for ... aims to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the ... costs. Innovative Design ... NDS ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: