New technique to help predict Alzheimer’s early

June 19th, 2008 - 4:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 19 (IANS) A neuroimaging scan called PiB PET can predict the onset of Alzheimer’s in individuals at least 18 months earlier than all currently available diagnostics. PiB PET can show excess of beta-amyloid (molecule) in the brain and potentially allows clinicians to distinguish patients with early Alzheimer’s disease, even before signs of memory loss are present.

Christopher Rowe of Austin Hospital in Melbourne, who led the research team that experimented with the PiB PET, said early diagnosis and treatment presents medical practitioners with the best opportunity to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

“While the discovery is at an experimental stage, this work places Australia at the forefront of neuro-imaging in Alzheimer’s disease,” Rowe said.

The research was undertaken as part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing.

The leader of the AIBL study, David Ames, said the study has the potential to markedly reduce the burden this disabling illness places on both individuals and society.

“Early pre-symptomatic diagnosis is an essential development which will allow us to test new disease modifying therapies with the aim of delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in susceptible individuals,” Ames says.

The findings of the study are slated to be presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Chicago.

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