Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRI Shows Brain Atrophy Pattern That Predicts Alzheimer's

Date:
February 11, 2009
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
Using special MRI methods, researchers have identified a pattern of regional brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment that indicates a greater likelihood of progression to Alzheimer's disease.

Using special MRI methods, researchers have identified a pattern of regional brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that indicates a greater likelihood of progression to Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

"Previously, this pattern has been observed only after a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease," said the study's lead author, Linda K. McEvoy, Ph.D., assistant project scientist in the Department of Radiology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine in La Jolla. "Our results show that some individuals with MCI have the atrophy pattern characteristic of mild Alzheimer's disease, and these people are at higher risk of experiencing a faster rate of brain degeneration and a faster decline to dementia than individuals with MCI who do not show that atrophy pattern."

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than five million Americans currently have Alzheimer's disease. One of the goals of modern neuroimaging is to help in early and accurate diagnosis, which can be challenging. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but when it is diagnosed early, drug treatment may help improve or stabilize patient symptoms.

In Alzheimer's disease, nerve cell death and tissue loss cause areas of the brain to atrophy. Structural MRI allows radiologists to visualize subtle anatomic changes in the brain that signal atrophy. MCI is associated with an increased risk of progression to Alzheimer's disease. Rates of progression vary. Some patients progress rapidly, while others remain stable for relatively long periods of time.

For the study, Dr. McEvoy and colleagues set out to determine if they could identify a pattern of regional atrophy characteristic of mild Alzheimer's disease in order to aid in the prediction of cognitive decline in patients with MCI.

In the study, the researchers analyzed brain MR images from 84 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, 175 patients with MCI and 139 healthy controls, using with semi-automated, individually specific quantitative MRI methods. The results showed widespread cortical atrophy in some patients with MCI, involving all cortical areas except those involved with processing of primary motor and sensory information. However, most indicative of future cognitive decline were atrophy in parts of the medial and lateral temporal lobes and in the frontal lobes. This pattern was also present in the patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

"Although these individuals are reporting problems mainly with memory, the atrophy involves more than just memory areas, extending into brain regions involved in planning, organization, problem solving and language," Dr. McEvoy said.

Follow-up data were available for 160 patients with MCI. The patients exhibiting atrophy in the brain regions described above showed significant one-year clinical decline and structural brain loss and were more likely to progress to a probable diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. MCI patients without that pattern of atrophy remained stable after a year.

Dr. McEvoy hopes that these findings will have an impact on the design of clinical trials to test medications that may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

"Currently there are no treatments that will prevent or cure Alzheimer's disease, but information about risk of rapid decline may help patients with MCI and their families plan for the future," Dr. McEvoy said.

This research was supported by the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health. Data were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. McEvoy et al. Alzheimer Disease: Quantitative Structural Neuroimaging for Detection and Prediction of Clinical and Structural Changes in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Radiology, 2009; DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2511080924

Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "MRI Shows Brain Atrophy Pattern That Predicts Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210092719.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2009, February 11). MRI Shows Brain Atrophy Pattern That Predicts Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210092719.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "MRI Shows Brain Atrophy Pattern That Predicts Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210092719.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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