Combining a Brain Scan with a Spinal Fluid Test

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

According to a study published in the latest issue of Archives of Neurology, researchers at University College London's Institute of Neurology have collected evidence of a correlation between two interesting brain pathologies. The research looked at low levels of beta-amyloid in the spinal fluid and, based on an MRI brain scan twelve months later, the rate of brain atrophy (or shrinkage).

The interest in this study stems from prior research showing that a low level of amyloid in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is a common (but not certain) precursor to Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, typical Alzheimer's pathology includes the death of brain cells leading to brain shrinkage. Therefore, noting that these two indicators seem to move in unfavorable directions, even before symptoms are present, might lead to methods for earlier detection and intervention.

In general, the expert research community supports the notion of combining indicators to detect early trends that should be carefully monitored. While this study is certainly noteworthy, coverage in the media, that has portrayed these findings as a method for detecting early stage Alzheimer's disease, is probably over-stated at this early point.
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 buttons below to spread this educational message as widely as possible.

1 comment :

  1. Some say we need to understand the neurobiology of emotion to respond and others say that all we have to do is listen actively.