Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRI Brain Scan May Detect Alzheimer's Disease Decades Before First Symptoms

Date:
May 28, 2002
Source:
University Of South Florida Health Sciences Center
Summary:
MRI scans of the brain may detect Alzheimer’s disease decades before the first clinical signs of dementia occur, researchers from the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Kentucky report in the journal Neurology.

Tampa, FL (May 28, 2002) — MRI scans of the brain may detect Alzheimer’s disease decades before the first clinical signs of dementia occur, researchers from the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Kentucky report in today's issue of the journal Neurology.

Because preventive therapies for Alzheimer’s will likely be more effective the earlier they are begun, the ability to identify people at high risk of the disease many years before symptoms are expressed will be important for its eventual prevention, the researchers say.

Karen Gosche, PhD, and her colleagues found that shrinkage of the hippocampus, a region of the brain showing some of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease, occurs very early in the disease process — long before the illness spreads to the cerebral cortex and results in cognitive and memory impairment. Dr. Gosche, president of NeuroImaging Research, Inc. in Alachua, FL, conducted the study while she was a doctoral candidate in Aging Studies at USF.

"The findings suggest that MRI measures of the hippocampus may help us to identify individuals who will develop Alzheimer’s disease decades in the future," said James Mortimer, PhD, director of the USF Institute on Aging and one of the co-authors of the study.

Postmortem MRI brain scans of 56 participants of the Nun Study were analyzed. Smaller volumes of the hippocampus seen on the scans could correctly identify older Catholic sisters who were cognitively normal before they died but fulfilled pathological criteria for fully developed Alzheimer’s disease at autopsy. In addition, the smaller hippocampal volumes were an indicator of milder pathological changes — the accumulation of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles — believed to occur decades before the appearance of symptoms such as memory loss.

The volume of the hippocampus was measured with a new computer program that reduces the time required to compute this volume from more than a half hour to a couple of minutes. Previous methods required tracing of this structure by hand, which restricted its application to research studies.

The findings suggest hippocampal volume could be valuable in predicting who is likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, but the researchers emphasize that applying the technique to MRI brain scans of living people will require further study.

The Nun Study, begun in 1992, is a study of 678 Catholic sisters, initially 75 to 102 years of age, who are evaluated annually and who have agreed to brain donation at the time of death. It is one of the first large autopsy studies to include normal as well as demented participants.

The Nun Study is directed by David Snowdon, PhD, of the University of Kentucky. Dr. Snowdon is a co-author of the current article along with William Markesbery, MD, director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and Charles Smith, MD, of the Department of Neurology at the University of Kentucky.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of South Florida Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of South Florida Health Sciences Center. "MRI Brain Scan May Detect Alzheimer's Disease Decades Before First Symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020528074455.htm>.
University Of South Florida Health Sciences Center. (2002, May 28). MRI Brain Scan May Detect Alzheimer's Disease Decades Before First Symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020528074455.htm
University Of South Florida Health Sciences Center. "MRI Brain Scan May Detect Alzheimer's Disease Decades Before First Symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020528074455.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins