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 Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

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: Colliding lasers double the energy of proton beams

Researchers from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg present a new method which can double the energy of a proton beam produced by laser-based particle accelerators. The breakthrough could lead to more compact, cheaper equipment that could be useful for many applications, including proton therapy.

Proton therapy involves firing a beam of accelerated protons at cancerous tumours, killing them through irradiation. But the equipment needed is so large and...

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

AI and high-performance computing extend evolution to superconductors

27.05.2019 | Information Technology

Meteor magnets in outer space

27.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Coat of proteins makes viruses more infectious and links them to Alzheimer's disease

27.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>