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New research looks at potential for predicting Alzheimer's

Posted by RHHAdmin on Jun 11, 2012 7:40:08 AM

Alzheimer's disease continues to be a major threat to those in elder care, as there remains no cure for the illness. However, researchers have been focusing on trying to determine which individuals have a higher risk of the disease, so they could be better prepared with Alzheimer's care options.

New research presented during the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 59th Annual Meeting found that molecular imaging could detect signs of Alzheimer's in healthy patients. The study's authors were able to zero in on the beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, which not only has been found to be the gateway to Alzheimer's, but also may be able to predict mild cognitive decline.

"Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can now be made when the patient first presents symptoms and still has largely preserved mental function," said Dr. Christopher Rowe, a lead investigator for the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study of aging (AIBL) and professor of nuclear medicine at Austin Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. "Previously there was an average delay of three years between consulting a doctor over memory concerns and the diagnosis of Alzheimer's, as the diagnosis required the presence of dementia."

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