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UC Davis looks into benefits of MRI scans for Alzheimer's detection

UC Davis looks into benefits of MRI scans for Alzheimer's detection
19th January 2009

Researchers have looked into whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans can detect the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease before people exhibit the signs of cognitive decline that is associated with the onset of the illness.

The team from UC Davis Health System will also be examining if MRI scan analysis can be employed to predict the rate at which Alzheimer's will affect the patient's brain.

A new, computational method of measuring atrophy in different sub-regions of the hippocampus will be tested by the researchers to find out if Alzheimer's produces noticeable spatial patterns of hippocampal atrophy, distinguishing the disease from patterns of mild cognitive impairment that is seen in normal ageing.

"We want to 'squeeze more juice' out of MRIs that are used to detect the presence of Alzheimer's disease," commented Owen Carmichael, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science at UC Davis.

UC Davis looks to discover as well as share knowledge to improve health and educates medical investigators, physicians as well as other healthcare providers.

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