New MRI test for early Alzheimer's disease detection

Posted under Uncategorized on January 2nd, 2015 by Editorial Team / No Comments

We recently wrote about a novel blood test that can detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease up to 10 years before clinical diagnoses are usually made.

Now news has emerged about another test, this one using a non-invasive technique known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is also thought to be able to detect the very earliest biological stages of Alzheimer’s, long before symptoms of the disease typically emerge.

The MRI technique allows scientists to visualise the build-up of amyloid beta toxins in the brain; these are thought to play a role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. The new test differs from the many conventional ones in development that focus on amyloid plaques, which only appear at a later stage of the disease.

The Northwestern University scientists who developed the test say it won’t only be used as a disease detection tool. They think it also has potential to aid in Alzheimer’s drug design and development by measuring how effective novel drugs are at reducing amyloid beta toxins. In addition, the fact that the test employs antibodies, a biological defence against the relevant toxins, means the test itself may even hold some therapeutic potential.

Novel tests are a sure sign that research is leading the way to better detection at the early stages of Alzheimer’s, hopefully opening the door for improved drug development and disease treatments for patients.

Tags: Alzheimer's detection, Alzheimer's test, MRI, Northwestern University



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