A brain scan taken 40 years ago has enabled researchers to predict the risk of Alzheimer’s disease accurately. Before the scan, doctors had to rely on a patient’s memory or lists of words they knew, which could lead them astray. A brain scan, however, can detect amyloid plaque, a protein that forms in the brain’s memory centre. When amyloid plaque builds up, brain cells die, causing memory problems.
Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible disease that slowly robs people of their memories and abilities. There is currently no treatment for the disease, but researchers continuously try to find remedies. The latest research involves using an advanced brain scan to detect Alzheimer’s in its early stages.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the disorders of the brain gradually destroying one’s memory, thinking skills as well as one’s ability to perform even the simplest tasks. Most people with the disease — those with late-onset symptoms — experience symptoms in their mid-60s.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, some scientists have discovered a way to help detect the disease as early as 10 years before symptoms arise. A study of 1,700 middle-aged adults found that those with more amyloid plaques in the brain were twice as likely to develop dementia as those with fewer.
How an MRI Brain Scan Can Aid in the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is devastating, robbing people of the ability to recognize loved ones, communicate verbally, or maintain basic bodily functions. The cause of Alzheimer’s is still a mystery, but researchers have found that certain brain scans can help identify the illness. A brain MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of various structures in the brain. These images can show the size and type of the brain matter, the condition of blood vessels, the presence of tumours, and other indicators of disease.
What Is MRI?
The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure, also known as a Magnetic Resonance Scan, is a quick and safe way to diagnose brain and spine neurological diseases. Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of a body part.
Many Alzheimer’s patients suffer from memory loss and confusion, which, while scary, is not a symptom of the disease itself. Technological advances mean that these early symptoms can be accurately identified and diagnosed. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain is the most accurate way of pinpointing those early symptoms and confirming a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
The ability to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease with brain scans is one step closer to reality. A new scan, which tracks plaques and tangles in the brain, could one day allow doctors to predict which patients are more likely to develop the degenerative brain disease that could lead to eventual death. The results of this new scan were presented this week at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine conference.
Alzheimer’s Disease Is Now Identified by The Onset and Progression of Symptoms
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that impacts your brain function and affects your ability to think, remember, and form new memories. If you have Alzheimer’s, you might notice memory loss, confusion, and disorientation. Over time, it also causes problems with vision, language, and gait (walking).
Alzheimer’s disease is now identified by the onset and progression of symptoms. Previously, the neuropsychological diagnosis was based on a clinical diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease. The revised diagnostic criteria reflect the fact that Alzheimer’s may be characterized by the onset and progression of cognitive and functional impairment. The revised criteria are more precise, allowing for earlier identification, more accurate diagnosis, and a more effective approach to treatment and management.
The study suggests that early detection may be possible using a simple analysis of brain scans. Although the study had some limitations, it holds great promise as researchers hope to better understand how Alzheimer’s disease occurs and to find ways to prevent or treat it.
We showed that brain scans of three patients with early Alzheimer’s disease were similar to scans of healthy volunteers. The findings suggest that brain scans could be used in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
The ability to diagnose Alzheimer’s at the early stages will enable clinicians to intervene earlier and come up with more effective interventions. It may be too early to say for certain, but early diagnostic scans have prognostic value, which could open up a new avenue for research.
Brain scan technology can help doctors predict future care needs. As the disease progresses, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is diagnosed in about 50% of patients that has Alzheimer’s disease. Identifying MCI offers the best chance of detecting and treating Alzheimer’s disease while patients are still relatively healthy. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but researchers may discover more effective ways to treat or slow the disease in the future.