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Novel Brain Scan to Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

by Monisha on  December 21, 2006 at 8:13 AM Research News   - G J E 4
Novel Brain Scan to Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease
A new diagnostic method to identify deposits in brain seen in people with Alzheimer's disease has been developed. Patients suffering from this disorder suffer mostly in their cognitive abilities and become unusually forgetful. The new scanning technique might be able to distinguish people who may develop Alzheimer's disease.Alzhiemer's disease results in memory loss to a severe extent .Nearly 5 million people in the USA are estimated to suffer from this incapacitating disorder. Scientists are relentlessly trying to develop drugs that could impede the onset of this degenerative disease. If the new technique becomes successful ,people with the disease can be identified at the very onset and promptly treated to allay medications further symptoms from cascading all of a sudden, opined the lead researcher ,Gary Small from the University of California,LA.
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About 83 volunteers were studied by the researchers. They were between the ages of 49 and 84. The volunteers had to undergo a series of tests related to thought processes. The tests proved that 25 suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Another 28 individuals seemed to suffer from slight cognitive impairment, which is clinically understood to lead to Alzheimer's. The other volunteers proved to be agile and healthy.

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A chemical tracer named FDDNP which is a marker was injected to all volunteers. This compound after reaches the brain cells and gets affixed to abnormal l protein deposits that are described as a characteristic of Alzheimer's. It also affixes to another chief aspect of this disease called twisted "tangles" of protein within the brain tissues. This marker gets picked up by PET scans. Those with advanced Alzheimer's disease showed massive collection of the chemical marker in the brain, explained the researchers after a PET scan of the volunteers This diagnostic tool if accepted after clinical verification, will be a great boon to doctors in order to identify the deposits and tangles found in the brain of Alzheimer patients . Presently doctors are bereft of any such markers that can be used in the living patients. Changes in brain can only be assessed during autopsy. Currently memory tests are the only other option available to physicians in order to assess Alzheimer's Disease.

. The researchers did a follow up PET scan on 12 individuals. The findings revealed increased adhesions of the marker in certain areas of brain in those who had been diagnosed with Alzhiemer's.The scientists inferred that with time the disease progresses considerably. The researchers are optimistic that this scanning technique may come into routine medical practice in 3 years time.Until then further research will continue in collaboration with Siemens Medical.. The New England Journal of Medicine reported this finding.A new diagnostic method to identify deposits in brain seen in people with Alzheimer's disease has been developed. Patients suffering from this disorder suffer mostly in their cognitive abilities and become unusually forgetful.

The new scanning technique might be able to identify people who may develop Alzheimer's disease.Alzhiemer's disease results in memory loss to a severe extent .Nearly 5 million people in the USA are estimated to suffer from this incapacitating disorder. Scientists are relentlessly trying to develop drugs that could impede the onset of this degenerative disease. If the new technique becomes successful ,people with the disease can be identified at the very onset and promptly treated to allay medications further symptoms from cascading all of a sudden, opined the lead researcher ,Gary Small from the University of California,LA.

About 83 volunteers were studied by the researchers. They were between the ages of 49 and 84. The volunteers had to undergo a series of tests related to thought processes. The tests proved that 25 suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Another 28 individuals seemed to suffer from slight cognitive impairment, which is clinically understood to lead to Alzheimer's. The other volunteers proved to be agile and healthy.

A chemical tracer named FDDNP which is a marker was injected to all volunteers. This compound after reaches the brain cells and gets affixed to abnormal l protein deposits that are described as a characteristic of Alzheimer's. It also affixes to another chief aspect of this disease called twisted "tangles" of protein within the brain tissues. This marker gets picked up by PET scans. Those with advanced Alzheimer's disease showed massive collection of the chemical marker in the brain, explained the researchers after a PET scan of the volunteers.

This diagnostic tool if accepted after clinical verification, will be a great boon to doctors in order to identify the deposits and tangles found in the brain of Alzheimer patients . Presently doctors are bereft of any such markers that can be used in the living patients. Changes in brain can only be assessed during autopsy. Currently memory tests are the only other option available to physicians in order to assess Alzheimer's Disease.

The researchers did a follow up PET scan on 12 individuals. The findings revealed increased adhesions of the marker in certain areas of brain in those who had been diagnosed with Alzhiemer's.The scientists inferred that with time the disease progresses considerably. The researchers are optimistic that this scanning technique may come into routine medical practice in 3 years time.Until then further research will continue in collaboration with Siemens Medical.The New England Journal of Medicine reported this finding.



Source: Medindia
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