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Imperial College to use new scanner for dementia patients

Imperial College to use new scanner for dementia patients
29th October 2014

Imperial College London has announced it will install a new MRI-PET scanner that will help doctors who are working with dementia patients.

The scanner can heighten the understanding of the causes and onset of the degenerative disease, while it is hoped it can also help experts to work out how effective treatments are. 

Such an investment is part of the Medical Research Council's Dementia Platform UK (DPUK).

Professor Paul Matthews, who is chair of the DPUK Imaging Network and works at Imperial, explained how scientists don't fully understand the condition, which is a reason why no effective treatments or cures are on the market. 

"It is increasingly recognised that the key to future treatments for dementia is identifying the early risk factors and biomarkers - and this can only be done by studying large samples before the onset of dementia," he added. 

The scanner works by linking data about molecular changes to alterations in the brain - and doctors are optimistic that this will help them to solve some of the problems that cognitive decline currently causes. It is hoped this will lead the way to new treatments. 

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes