Early detection of Alzheimer’s or dementia is just as important as it is for any health malady: catching symptoms as early as possible means
These findings were published Oct. 7 in Radiology in a study entitled Arterial Spin Labeling May Contribute to the Cognitive Deterioration in Healthy Elderly Individuals. The study found that individuals whose MRI brain scans showed a reduction of blood flow to memory-linked brain regions were more likely to show more memory deterioration than their peers over a period of 18 months. there is more time to develop a proper prevention and treatment plan. Traditionally, dementia has mainly been diagnosed with PET scanning, but an MRI technique which measures blood flow to brain regions linked with memory may prove useful for patients with genetic predisposition to dementia.
While the results are promising for the field of dementia research, they are still in beginning stages, and prospective Alzheimer’s or dementia patients are not being encouraged to look to MRI for answers…yet. If standardized for dementia diagnosing, however, MRI will serve as a safer, radiation-free alternative to PET testing, which currently incorporates an injection of a radioactive substance.