Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis could be better understood through the use of a new brain scanning method, researchers have said.
The method, known as SAXS-CT, maps the myelin sheaths of nerve cells, the damage of which is thought to be associated with such conditions, according to the study published in journal NeuroImage.
In order to attain the image, two well-known medical examination methods - Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering and CT scanning - were combined.
Torben Haugaard Jensen, of the University of Cophenhagen, explained: "Combined with a specially developed programme for data processing, we have been able to examine the variations of the myelin sheaths in a rat brain all the way down to the molecular level without surgery."
This follows a suggestion that the number of CT scans carried out on children should be reduced.
Research conducted by Children's Hospital Boston and the University of California Davis revealed that just a small number of the children who undergo scans for traumatic brain injury actually have one.
Written by Mathew Horton