US scientists have found a way to screen patients for Alzheimer's using an MRI scanner, providing a more cost-effective way to treat patients and test the effectiveness of clinical trial treatments.
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania said their "MRI-based algorithm" is effective in 75 per cent of cases and the remaining 25 per cent produced borderline results that can be confirmed by a lumbar puncture.
The lumbar puncture remains the most accurate way of producing a diagnosis, but is an invasive procedure and can be difficult to repeat regularly. Repetition is important to test the effectiveness of treatments in clinical trials and so it is hoped this MRI process could help to improve the trials and find a cure for the disease.
Dr Corey McMillan, of the Perelman School of Medicine, said: "Using this novel method, we obtain a single biologically meaningful value from analysing MRI data in this manner and then we can derive a probabilistic estimate of the likelihood of Alzheimer's."
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