Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers use MRI to predict Alzheimer's disease

20.11.2018

MRI brain scans perform better than common clinical tests at predicting which people will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a study being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills. The disease affects 5.5 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health.


This image shows areas of reduced fractional anisotropy -- a diffusion MR imaging marker of white matter damage -- in 20 persons who develop Alzheimer's dementia compared to 20 who remain cognitively normal. These areas show up as blue-colored voxel overlaid onto a white matter skeleton (yellow colors) overlaid onto a standard template brain.

Credit: Radiological Society of North America

"Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in the world and is expected to increase globally, and especially in the U.S., as the population gets older," said the study's lead author Cyrus A. Raji, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"As we develop new drug therapies and study them in trials, we need to identify individuals who will benefit from these drugs earlier in the course of the disease."

Common predictive models like standardized questionnaires used to measure cognition and tests for the APOE4 gene, a gene variant associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease, have limitations and--with accuracy rates of about 70-71 percent--fail to identify many people who go on to develop the disease.

MRI exams of the brain using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) are a promising option for analysis of dementia risk. These exams assess the condition of the brain's white matter.

"With DTI you look at the movement of water molecules along white matter tracts, the telephone cables of brain," Dr. Raji said. "When these tracts are not well connected, cognitive problems can result."

DTI provides different metrics of white matter integrity, including fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of how well water molecules move along white matter tracts. A higher FA value indicates that water is moving in a more orderly fashion along the tracts, while a lower value means that the tracts are likely damaged.

For the new study, Dr. Raji and colleagues set out to quantify differences in DTI in people who decline from normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's dementia compared to controls who do not develop dementia.

They performed brain DTI exams on 61 people drawn from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, a major, multisite study focusing on the progression of the disease.

About half of the patients went on to develop Alzheimer's disease, and DTI identified quantifiable differences in the brains of those patients. People who developed the disease had lower FA compared with those who didn't, suggesting white matter damage. They also had statistically significant reductions in certain frontal white matter tracts.

"DTI performed very well compared to other clinical measures," Dr. Raji said. "Using FA values and other associated global metrics of white matter integrity, we were able to achieve 89 percent accuracy in predicting who would go onto develop Alzheimer's disease. The Mini-mental State Examination and APOE4 gene testing have accuracy rates of about 70 - 71 percent."

The researchers conducted a more detailed analysis of the white matter tracts in about 40 of the study participants. Among those patients, the technique achieved 95 percent accuracy, Dr. Raji said.

While more work is needed before the approach is ready for routine clinical use, the results point to a future role for DTI in the diagnostic workup of people at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Many people already receive MRI as part of their care, so DTI could add significant value to the exam without substantially increasing the costs, Dr. Raji said.

Perhaps most importantly, MRI measures of white matter integrity could speed interventions that slow the course of the disease or even delay its onset.

"Research shows that Alzheimer's disease risk can be reduced by addressing modifiable risk factors like obesity and diabetes," Dr. Raji said. "With early detection, we can enact lifestyle interventions and enlist volunteers into drug trials earlier."

###

Co-authors are Maxwell B. Wang, B.S., Erin Moe, B.A., Eva M. Palacios and Pratik Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D.

Note: Copies of RSNA 2018 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press18 beginning Monday, Nov. 26.

RSNA is an association of over 54,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists, promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

Editor's note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the published abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please contact us.

For patient-friendly information on brain MRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Media Contact

Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762

 @rsna

http://www.rsna.org 

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht High-resolution 3D view inside breast tumors with opto-acoustic mesoscopy
27.05.2020 | Technische Universität München

nachricht New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI
26.05.2020 | University of California - Davis

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biophysicists reveal how optogenetic tool works

29.05.2020 | Life Sciences

Convenient location of a near-threshold proton-emitting resonance in 11B

29.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Mapping immune cells in brain tumors

29.05.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>