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Scanning technology to track Alzheimer's

14th July 2006

New techniques could be used to track the development of Alzheimer's Disease in patients, it has been claimed.

Researchers from London have developed a brain scan which they have been using on patients to track the condition's progress and discover who is likely to get the disease.

It is hoped that the scan will help scientists to understand more about how Alzheimer's affects the brain and how it develops, potentially leading to the creation of ways to reduce and even reverse the disease.

Experts from Hammersmith Hospital have taken scans of 60 people, including some with Alzheimer's, and have suggested that using radioactive dye could help to illuminate when the disease is present in people's brains.

"The scans give a much clearer idea of what's going on," David Brooks, a professor in neurology at Imperial College London, told the BBC.

Currently, the dye is being refined to make it more effective, but once this process is complete it could become available on the NHS, providing doctors with the opportunity of early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.