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Several methods for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease developed by European scientists
Date:6/14/2011

PredictAD is an EU-funded research project that develops objective and efficient methods for enabling earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Diagnosis requires a holistic view of the patient combining information from several sources, such as, clinical tests, imaging and blood samples.

"The aim of the PredictAD project is to develop an objective indicator to diagnose Alzheimer's disease at the earliest stage possible. Current diagnostic guidelines emphasise the importance of various biomarkers in diagnostics. We have developed novel approaches to extract biomarkers from imaging data, electrophysiological data and blood samples, and a unique and clinically useful software tool for integrating all these heterogeneous measurements." says the Scientific Coordinator of the project, Dr Jyrki Ltjnen from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Magnetic resonance imaging for identifying atrophy

Atrophy in the mediotemporal lobe is a well-known hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Magnetic resonance imaging is an excellent tool for measuring this tissue loss. In current clinical practice, images are interpreted mostly only by visual inspection but there is a great need for objective measurements.

PredictAD has developed several methods to meet this need. "We have managed to develop efficient tools for measuring the size of the hippocampus, the atrophy rate of the hippocampus, and two modern approaches based on comparing patient data with previously diagnosed cases available in large databases." says the leader of the imaging biomarkers work-package, professor Daniel Rueckert from Imperial College London. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is another imaging technology studied in the project. A novel tracer developed recently especially for diagnostics of Alzheimer's disease provides promises for very early diagnosis of the disease.

Detecting changes in the electrophysiology of the brain

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Contact: Jyrki Ltjnen
jyrki.lotjonen@vtt.fi
358-207-223-378
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Source:Eurekalert

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