MRI to Spot the Early Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers at the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at the Maudsley Hospital, London, Kings College London, and the Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, are field testing an ‘Automated MRI’ software package that compares a patient’s brain scan against 1,200 others showing varying stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The goal is early identification of AD and the computer program can differentiate between pairs of scans with an 85 per cent accuracy in just 24 hours. This is the first time such software has been used by the NHS and will be tested over the next year. Researchers also hope to collect more research-grade images through the study.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society (UK), ‘this is also a great example of how scientific advancements can be translated into real benefits for people with dementia. We need more investment in research to bring better diagnosis and treatments to people with dementia as quickly as possible.’