New results from a study by neuroscientists at Rush University Medical Center suggest that people at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease exhibit a specific structural change in the brain that can be visualized by brain imaging. The findings may help identify those who would most benefit from early intervention.
The study will be presented at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting for the Society of Neuroscience in San Diego, Calif., on Wednesday, November 17.
"One of the main challenges in the field of Alzheimer's disease is identifying individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease so that therapeutic interventions developed in the future can be given at the earliest stage before symptoms begin to appear," said Sarah George, a graduate student who co-authored the study with Leyla deToledo-Morrell, PhD, director of the graduate program in neuroscience at Rush University Medical Center and professor of neurological sciences at the Graduate College of Rush University.
"Our study has found that structural imaging techniques can be used to identify those at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease," said deToledo-Morrell.
For the study, experts from Rush followed individuals with mild cognitive impairment, which is thought to be a precursor of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Those with mild cognitive impairment can exhibit memory decline known as amnestic mild cognitive impairment.
Researchers followed 52 individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment over a period of six years. Twenty-three participants progressed to Alzheimer's disease.
Study participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screenings. The researchers used MRI to look for structural changes in the substantia innominata (SI), a region deep within the brain that sends chemical signals to the cerebral cortex, the brain's outer layer that is largely responsible for reasoning, memory and other higher functions. Although no structural changes were found in the SI between the two groups, the MRI showed a thinning of the cortical areas that receive strong input from the SI in those who went on to develop Alzheimer's disease.
"Since we were able to distinguish those who progressed to Alzheimer's disease compared to those who remained stable, we believe that MRI techniques that examine patterns of structural alterations provide a sensitive biomarker for detecting risk of Alzheimer's disease," said George.
Additional co-authors on the study include Elliott J. Mufson, PhD., professor of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center, and Dr. Raj C. Shah, director of the memory clinic at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center.
Rush University Medical Center is a 676-bed academic medical center that includes Rush Children's Hospital, the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center (a 61-bed rehabilitation facility), and Rush University. Rush is a not-for-profit health care, education and research enterprise. Rush University is home to one of the first medical colleges in the Midwest and includes one of the nation's top-ranked nursing colleges, as well as graduate programs in allied health, health systems management and biomedical research.
Deb Song | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences