Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biological marker for Alzheimer’s holds promise for earlier diagnosis and treatment

15.07.2008
Researchers at Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario have found clear evidence that increases in the size of the brain ventricles are directly associated with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Ventricles are fluid-filled cavities in the brain. The research, led by Robarts scientist Robert Bartha, shows the volume of the brain ventricles expands as surrounding tissue dies. The research was published online today in the neurology journal Brain.

Currently, diagnosis for Alzheimer’s relies on neuro-cognitive assessments, such as testing of memory, ability to problem solve, count, etc. Definitive diagnosis is not possible until after death when an autopsy can reveal the presence of amyloid plaques and ‘tangles’ in brain tissue.

Previous research has shown the link between ventricle size and Alzheimer’s over longer time intervals. The research conducted at Robarts Research Institute shows that ventricle size increases with mild cognitive impairment before a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and continues to increase with the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease after only six months.

“These findings mean that, in the future, by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure changes in brain ventricle size, we may be able to provide earlier and more definitive diagnosis,” said Bartha, who is also an Associate Professor in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in Medical Biophysics. “In addition, as new treatments for Alzheimer’s are developed, the measurement of brain ventricle changes can also be used to quickly determine the effectiveness of the treatment.”

The research also showed that Alzheimer’s patients with a genetic marker for Alzheimer’s disease exhibited faster expansion in ventricle volume.

The research was performed by utilizing MRI scans from individuals from across North America. Graduate student Sean Nestor, a coauthor, examined 500 data sets of individuals at baseline and six months later. The images were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a large multi-site trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in the United States and the pharmaceutical industry. The project includes an online database of imaging information gathered from 800 people at more than 50 sites across the U.S. and Canada. The images are MRIs of individuals with no cognitive impairment, those with mild cognitive impairment and people with Alzheimer’s disease. The database can be used by any primary researcher.

One of the ADNI sites is at London’s Lawson Health Research Institute, and is led by Dr. Michael Borrie, a co-investigator on the research. Dr. Borrie is Medical Director of the Aging Brain and Memory Clinic and Geriatric Clinical Trials Group at Parkwood Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, a Lawson researcher and Chair of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Examination of the MRIs was made possible by using software developed by Cedara Software, the OEM division of Merge Healthcare. In the past, researchers would have to manually or semi-automatically trace the ventricles in many brain images, each showing a “slice” of the brain. The Merge OEM software team, led by Vittorio Accomazzi, a coauthor in the research, worked closely with the researchers to refine the software to allow the processing of large volumes of data very quickly.

"This is one of the first major research studies published using data from ADNI", said Borrie, "but there will be many more neuroimaging and biomarker discoveries to arise from the ADNI project. It is a tremendous opportunity for researchers anywhere in the world to use the ADNI databases, to collaborate and share their findings in a new way that will move Alzheimer's disease research forward more quickly, objectively and effectively. Already we are building new international collaborations, arising from ADNI, that we could not have even imagined."

For more information contact: Kathy Wallis, Media Relations Officer - 519-661-2111 ext 81136, Kathy.wallis@schulich.uwo.ca

Kathy Wallis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uwo.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht ASU scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
14.12.2017 | Arizona State University

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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

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...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

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,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

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...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>