Brain scans may detect neurological changes in people who exhibit no outward signs of cognitive decline but who later develop dementia or mental impairment, according to the results of a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
The study, to be published Feb. 8 in the journal Annals of Neurology, provides encouraging evidence that positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could eventually be used to detect preclinical signs of Alzheimers disease.
"Our paper is one of the few to show that it is possible to detect changes in the brains of normal older people who experience subsequent cognitive decline," said Dr. William Jagust, UC Berkeley professor of neuroscience and public health and lead author of the paper. "We dont have enough data, yet, to say that the brain scans can predict Alzheimers disease. However, the locations of the affected brain regions have been associated in other studies with Alzheimers, so its possible that we are picking up early signs of the disease."
Sarah Yang | EurekAlert!
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