Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

From heterogeneous patient measurements towards earlier diagnosis in Alzheimer's disease

15.12.2011
New potential avenues for early disease detection

European PredictAD project, lead by Principal Scientist Jyrki Lötjönen from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has developed a decision support tool for objective diagnostics of Alzheimer's disease.

The tool compares measurements of a patient to measurements of other persons available in large databases and provides a simple index about the severity of the disease. The project has shown that the tool improves the accuracy of diagnosis and clinicians' confidence about their decision, making earlier diagnosis possible.

Dementia has been recently identified as a health priority both in Europe and in the USA. Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia, alone accounts for costs equivalent to about 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the whole world and the number of persons affected will double in the next 20 years. Early diagnosis plays a key role in solving the problem because treatments of this irreversible disease should be started at an early phase to be efficient.

The current guidelines for the diagnostics of Alzheimer's disease emphasize the role of various biomarkers. These biomarkers include measures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), biomarkers from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and genetic biomarkers in addition to evidenced memory impairment. No single patient measure provides enough information for diagnostics. Currently, clinicians make the final diagnosis by combining heterogeneous measurements with information from interviews of the patient and relatives. This process involves subjective reasoning and requires strong expertise from the clinicians.

Modern hospitals have huge data reserves containing information that nobody has extracted. For example, the hippocampus is a central structure for memory and affected in Alzheimer's disease and brain MRI image databases contain information about the normal variability of the hippocampus in healthy and disased persons. This information can be utilised in diagnostics by systematic mathematical modelling.

PredictAD has designed a totally novel approach for measuring objectively the state of the patient. This decision support system, developed in close collaboration with clinicians, compares patient measurements with measurements of other persons in large databases and provides at the end an index and graphical representation reflecting the state of the patient. The index is a barometer of the disease making grounds for decisions more solid and objective. The graphical representation provides a clinician in glance information about the status of her/his patient compared with hundreds of other persons, some having the disease and some being healthy.

"The PredictAD tool provides a new option to support decision making by providing objective information about the patient", says Prof. Hilkka Soininen from the University of Eastern Finland, leading the clinical validation of the project.

Prof. Gunhild Waldemar from Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet emphasizes the importance of the Alzheimer's disease research: "Successful, early diagnostics combined with the novel drugs under development and early psychosocial care may delay the institutionalization of patients, reducing suffering and the costs to the society. It has been calculated that delaying the onset of the disease by five years would halve all costs of Alzheimer's disease and delaying onset and progression by only one year would reduce the number of Alzheimer's cases by about 10%."

This study was supported by the project "From patient data to personalized healthcare in Alzheimer's disease" (PredictAD) which was supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.

Reference: J. Mattila, J. Koikkalainen, A. Virkki, A. Hviid-Simonsen, M. van Gils, G. Waldemar, H. Soininen, J. Lötjönen, The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Disease State Fingerprint for Evaluating the State of Alzheimer's Disease in Patients. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 27: 163-176, 2011.

For further information, please contact:
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Jyrki Lötjönen, Principal Scientist
tel. +358 20 722 3378
jyrki.lotjonen@vtt.fi
University of Eastern Finland
Hilkka Soininen, professor
tel. +358 40 5735749
Copenhagen University Hospital
Gunhild Waldemar, professor
tel. +45 26302580
Further information on VTT
Olli Ernvall, Senior Vice President, Communications
Tel. +358 20 722 6747
olli.ernvall@vtt.fi

Jyrki Lötjönen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California

24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>