Field test for scan to detect early Alzheimer’s signs
Researchers in London are trialling a new computer program to detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
The ‘Automated MRI’ software, which compares brain scans against hundreds of images that show varying stages of the disease, has been developed by scientists at the National Institute for Health Research’s Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, at the Maudsley Hospital, together with researchers at King’s College London and Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm.
The scientists say the scan, which is being field tested at memory clinics in London over the next year, can return 85% accurate results in under 24 hours.
Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Finding a way to detect Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages is a key target in our efforts to defeat dementia. The ability to give an early diagnosis is vital not only for helping people access care and treatments, but also to boost research progress by allowing scientists to test future treatments on the right groups of people, at the right time.
“Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, which affects 820,000 people in the UK. If we are to find an effective treatment to beat the disease, we must invest in research.”