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MRI shows brain atrophy pattern that predicts Alzheimer's
Date:2/10/2009

m 84 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, 175 patients with MCI and 139 healthy controls, using with semi-automated, individually specific quantitative MRI methods. The results showed widespread cortical atrophy in some patients with MCI, involving all cortical areas except those involved with processing of primary motor and sensory information. However, most indicative of future cognitive decline were atrophy in parts of the medial and lateral temporal lobes and in the frontal lobes. This pattern was also present in the patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

"Although these individuals are reporting problems mainly with memory, the atrophy involves more than just memory areas, extending into brain regions involved in planning, organization, problem solving and language," Dr. McEvoy said.

Follow-up data were available for 160 patients with MCI. The patients exhibiting atrophy in the brain regions described above showed significant one-year clinical decline and structural brain loss and were more likely to progress to a probable diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. MCI patients without that pattern of atrophy remained stable after a year.

Dr. McEvoy hopes that these findings will have an impact on the design of clinical trials to test medications that may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

"Currently there are no treatments that will prevent or cure Alzheimer's disease, but information about risk of rapid decline may help patients with MCI and their families plan for the future," Dr. McEvoy said.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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