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Scientists can 'track brain ageing' before any symptoms

Scientists can 'track brain ageing' before any symptoms
8th January 2009

Brains can be scanned for signs of ageing before any symptoms appear in the patient, according to new research from the American west coast.

Scientists at California's UCLA was able to use positron emission tomography (PET), in conjunction with information on Alzheimer's disease, to look into the brains of living people and identify plaques and tangles which are associated with the neurological condition.

PET scans were taken from 76 patients without dementia, with each receiving a chemical marker injection which then binds to the plaques which form on the organ.

Dr Gary Small, an author and a professor of neuroscience, continued: "Combining key patient information with a brain scan may give us better predictive power in targeting those who may benefit from early interventions, as well as help test how well treatments are working."

A recent study understands that many sufferers of dementia are relatively young, with 14 per cent of 500,000 diagnosed Canadians being under the age of 65.

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