Functional MRI may be useful in detecting early stage Alzheimer's Disease

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

We have seen much press about the promise of advanced tracers and binding agents that improve the ability of imaging technologies to identify signs of early stage Alzheimer's disease. Due to the popularity of the amyloid hypothesis, suggesting that beta amyloid plaques are a key culprit in Alzheimer's pathology, research on agents that bind to amyloid have been especially present in the recent literature.

A study now published in Neurology suggests that functional MRI might also be useful in detecting early signs of Alzheimer's disease. In a study conducted at Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, a group of 69 cognitively healthy adults, some of whom were genetically at risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease, were evaluated. Functional MRI was used to measure the participant's brain activity during a series of recognition tasks and the results of the at-risk group were compared to the results of the others.

The results showed an increased activation of certain parts of the brain in at-risk individuals which may reflect a compensatory brain response by those in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease. If so, fMRI could prove to be a key technology for earlier identification of and intervention against emerging Alzheimer's disease.

A better understanding and more awareness of Alzheimer's related issues can impact personal health decisions and generate significant impact across a population of aging individuals. Please use the share button below to spread this educational message and help the world.

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