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A New Type of Brain Scan to Detect Alzheimer's Early
Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:11 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: Fischer Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation) - A new type of brain scan may help to detect Alzheimer's early, using no radiation and at less cost than other techniques, researchers report.

Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine have developed a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that detects brain changes that signal Alzheimer's disease. The doctors have developed a modification to the technique called arterial spin labeling (ASL-MRI) that may be useful to diagnose probable early dementia.


The advantage of the new ASL-MRI technique is that someone could undergo brain scanning in a single session to help determine whether Alzheimer's may be present or if the person is suffering from tumors, stokes or other problems. The technique looks for changes in blood flow and the uptake of blood sugar, or glucose, in the memory centers of the brain.


"Increases or decreases in brain function are accompanied by changes in both blood flow and glucose metabolism," explained Dr. John Detre. "We designed ASL-MRI to allow cerebral blood flow to be imaged noninvasively and quantitatively using a routine MRI scanner."


Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's in the doctor's office has long been a goal for those who treat dementia. Increasingly, experts believe that Alzheimer's is a disease that begins many years before symptoms like memory loss and personality changes become apparent. Treatment of the disease may be most effective in these early stages, before damage to the brain has become extensive. In addition, a simple test to measure brain function would be useful for researchers to test and monitor new treatments.


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Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2012 6:08 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189

The study said the MRI Scan was as affective as the Pet Scan In use now. And that is where the porblem is. Currently the problem is MRI and Pet Scans don't show Alzheimers early enough to start Alzheimers Meds early. I think the new Pet Scan Tracer just aproved gives a leg-up on MRI's in eary Alzheimers dection.