New York University School of Medicine researchers have developed a brain scan-based computer program that quickly and accurately measures metabolic activity in a key region of the brain affected in the early stages of Alzheimers disease. Applying the program, they demonstrated that reductions in brain metabolism in healthy individuals were associated with the later development of the memory robbing disease, according to a new study.
"This is the first demonstration that reduced metabolic activity in the hippocampus may be used to help predict future Alzheimers disease," says Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., a research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry, who developed the computer program and led the new study. "Although our findings need to be replicated in other studies," she says, "our technique offers the possibility that we will be able to screen for Alzheimers in individuals who arent cognitively impaired."
Dr. Mosconi and colleagues have recently published the technical details of the program, called "HipMask," in the June 2005 issue of the journal Neurology. She will present the new findings on June 20 at the Alzheimers Association International Conference on Prevention of Dementia held in Washington.
Pamela Mcdonnell | EurekAlert!
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