Alzheimer's predicted before onset of symptoms

Posted on 06 April 2011

Brain scans could be used to identify which patients are more likely to develop Alzheimer's, expanding treatment options for those possibly paying for long term care for the condition.

A study, published in journal Radiology, found that doctors were able to use MRI to detect which individuals exhibited the cortical thinning seen in Alzheimer's.

University of California, San Diego, researcher Linda K McEvoy said that MRI scans are highly sensitive to brain atrophy.

"Being able to better predict which individuals with MCI are at greatest risk for developing Alzheimer's would provide critical information if disease-modifying therapies become available," she added.

This follows the discovery of four new genes that increase predisposition to Alzheimer's disease.

Authors of the study, published in journal Nature Genetics, hope their findings will help medical professionals to identify which patients will develop the neurodegenerative condition before the onset of symptoms.

Posted by Toby Mynott


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