New technique for dementia, Huntington's disease diagnosis

New technique for dementia, Huntington's disease diagnosis

A team of scientists from America has developed a new method of testing for neurodegenerative brain disorders.

According to an article in the journal Comparative Neurology, this could allow doctors to diagnose conditions such as dementia, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease much sooner.

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) involves applying a magnetic field to a tissue, then disturbing it with a radio frequency. Different atoms react in different ways, which allows doctors to build a picture of tissue structure.

Mice with a Huntington's disease mutation were identified 100 per cent of the time using the system.

"This technology … could potentially provide diagnostic information to distinguish different causes of dementia and other forms of neurological illness, rapidly and non-invasively," said Dr Jason Nikas from the University of Minnesota.

The advantage of early dementia diagnosis was highlighted by a recent study from the British Medical Group, which showed that people who were diagnosed early have a much better survival rate than those who discovered their condition later on.

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