Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


MRI may contribute to early detection of Alzheimer's

New research suggests that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could help detect Alzheimer's disease (AD) at an early stage, before irreversible damage has occurred, according to a new study published online and in the June print edition of Radiology.

With no known treatment to alter its course, AD exacts an enormous toll on society. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease today, and the cumulative costs for care could top $20 trillion over the next four decades.

As a result, there is growing interest in tests that could identify individuals at risk for AD at an early stage, when memory preservation may still be possible. Brain volume measurement with MRI is one promising area of research.

"One of the things that made our study novel was that we looked at patients who were cognitively normal at baseline, rather than people with mild cognitive impairment," said lead author Gloria C. Chiang, M.D., radiology resident at University of California San Francisco.

For the study, researchers looked at whether automated brain volume measurements on MRI could accurately predict future memory decline in elderly people with normal cognitive ability. They assessed 149 participants with an initial baseline MRI scan and a neuropsychological assessment.

Follow-up exams two years later showed that 25 of the 149 initially cognitively normal participants, or 17 percent, had memory decline.

While previous research has focused on the medial temporal lobe of the brain, which is strongly associated with memory, researchers looked at volume changes across a number of regions in the temporal and parietal lobes. The parietal lobe is primarily associated with the processing of sensory information and is involved in a number of cognitive and language processes.

The predictive accuracy of the classification model increased as the number of brain regions included in the model increased. Models that took into account several areas of both the temporal and parietal lobes had an 81 percent accuracy rate in discriminating between cognitively normal people with and without memory decline.

The findings illuminated how the interaction between these brain regions may play a key role in memory loss.

"Previous models have included regions of the brain as isolated variables," Dr. Chiang said. "Our study showed that volume loss in multiple regions that may be interconnected had a greater impact on memory decline. We found that automated temporal and parietal volumes identified those at risk for future memory decline with high accuracy."

The study represents another step in the process of incorporating imaging into the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer's disease, according to Dr. Chiang.

"We can see so much with MRI, but right now there's no way to definitively diagnose AD with imaging," she said. "The goal in the future is to have a screening device to monitor cognitive decline and diagnose AD."

"Identifying Cognitively Healthy Elderly Individuals with Subsequent Memory Decline by Using Automated MR Temporoparietal Volumes." Collaborating with Dr. Chiang were Philip S. Insel, M.S., Duygu Tosun, Ph.D., Norbert Schuff, Ph.D., Diana Truran-Sacrey, B.A., Sky Raptentsetsang, B.S., Clifford R. Jack Jr., M.D., Michael W. Weiner, M.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (

RSNA is an association of more than 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

For patient-friendly information on MRI, visit

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders
29.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

nachricht New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development
28.09.2016 | Lund University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>