New non-invasive method can detect Alzheimer's disease early

December 22, 2014
Science Daily/Northwestern University
A noninvasive MRI approach that can detect the Alzheimer's disease in a living animal, well before typical Alzheimer's symptoms appear, has been developed by researchers. The research team created an MRI probe that pairs a magnetic nanostructure with an antibody that seeks out the amyloid beta brain toxins responsible for onset of the disease. The accumulated toxins, because of the associated magnetic nanostructures, show up as dark areas in MRI scans of the brain.

http://images.sciencedaily.com/2014/12/141222143019-large.jpg

No methods currently exist for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, which affects one out of nine people over the age of 65. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern University scientists and engineers has developed a noninvasive MRI approach that can detect the disease in a living animal. And it can do so at the earliest stages of the disease, well before typical Alzheimer's symptoms appear

"We have a new brain imaging method that can detect the toxin that leads to Alzheimer's disease," said Klein, who first identified the amyloid beta oligomer in 1998. He is a professor of neurobiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

The ability to detect amyloid beta oligomers, Klein said, is important for two reasons: amyloid beta oligomers are the toxins that damage neurons, and the oligomers are the first sign of trouble in the disease process, appearing before any other pathology.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141222143019.htm

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