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Development of MRI scans for dementia patients welcomed

Development of MRI scans for dementia patients welcomed
28th December 2012

Alzheimer's Research UK have welcomed research from US scientists that suggests there is a way to differentiate between different forms of dementia using MRI scans.

The team from the University of Pennsylvania unveiled their research in the medical journal Neurology, released on Boxing Day, and detailed their method as an alternative to the invasive lumbar procedure that is currently used to diagnose Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

As they published their study, the team indicated that the method would will be most useful during clinical trials to test the effectiveness of treatments, when successive lumbar punctures are impractical and painful for patients.

However, Alzheimer's Research UK has welcomed the research and it believes that the technique could eventually be used to help differentiate between forms of dementia, leading to quicker and more effective treatment for the patient.

Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Ultimately, different causes of dementia will need different treatment approaches, so the ability to accurately distinguish these diseases from one another will be crucial."