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Simple medical tests can predict Alzheimer's

Simple medical tests can predict Alzheimer's
21st October 2011

A combination of medical tests could improve the prediction of impending Alzheimer's disease in patients, according to a recent study.

By comparing risk factors based on magnetic resonance imaging, cerebrospinal fluid and neuropsychological testing, researchers at the University of California and the San Diego School of Medicine believe that doctors will be able to assess the likelihood of Alzheimer's in patients.

Professor James Brewer, a researcher on the project, stated: "Instead of saying let's wait a year and see if this gets worse, our neurologists can say let's get a volumetric MRI and check back in a month ... That ability makes a huge difference in how we proceed."

Research has previously confirmed that memory and brain scan tests can best predict if a patient has cognitive problems that may develop into Alzheimer's disease.

Some 85 subjects were submitted to a series of cognitive tests to confirm the findings, including an episodic memory test and MRI brain scans.

After monitoring the participants for 1.9 years, it was confirmed that people who showed abnormal results on both PET scans and episodic memory tests were nearly 12 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

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