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US scientist says memory loss 'should not be accepted'

US scientist says memory loss 'should not be accepted'
7th February 2013

A scientist in the US has revealed how he encourages patients to nullify the effects of ageing on their brains.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Daniel Amen detailed how he uses blood tests, cognitive assessments and investigations into family history to examine patients. However, he believes the key aspect is the Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scan, which measures the flow of blood around the braining.

Using the 3D scan, Dr Amen insists he can show patients the areas of their brain that are not performing to full capacity and advise them on how to improve this through lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise and eating vegetables.

He maintains people should not accept memory loss or deteriorating cognitive ability as a standard consequence of aging.

"It's not normal, not even at 70. It means your brain is beginning to struggle."

However, Dr Amen's procedures have not been universally well-received among other academics, with many arguing they cannot diagnose Alzheimer's or dementia.

Dr Helen Mayberg from Emory University in Georgia said: "There is no evidence that these type of scans can be used as a general screening procedure for confirming you are healthy or to diagnose a specific condition."

Find out more about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.