A brain scan that can detect Alzheimer’s disease in advance, could be available within 12 months, new studies claim.
Researchers have developed an innovative technique that they claim can predict whether a person is prone to mental illness with a decade before the onset of symptoms. Thus, persons in question will have time to try to treat and prepare for the devastating effects of this disease.
Researchers around the world, are working on development of positron emission tomography to monitor the disease.
New studies conducted by the University of Melbourne, Australia and University of Texas claim to have perfected this technique. They use CT to monitor the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein, which is known to have a link with dementia and cognitive decline. It is believed that these proteins cause blocking of thought processes.
During their studies, scientists have conducted psychological and neurological tests on hundreds of volunteers, some of them being perfectly healthy, while others with mild cognitive disorders. During many years these people were monitored frequently, and being constantly tested.
Following tests it was found that people who accumulate beta-amyloid protein are more likely to develop memory problems and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Professor David Brooks, from Imperial College London, who is studying this issue, argues that these scans could predict Alzheimer’s disease 10 years before it can give the first signs.
The use of these scanners will not only help doctors to diagnose, but will provide the opportunity to observe what is happening in the brain during disease.