Analysis of the brain's MRI studies, combined with a new software program, developed by a team led by an Indian American, may permit clinicians to track and diagnose Alzheimer's disease at an early stage.
Developed by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) team, the software can accurately differentiate patients with milder versions of Alzheimer's, from normal elderly individuals, based on anatomic differences in brain structures, affected by the disease.
"Traditionally Alzheimer's has been diagnosed based on a combination of factors such as a neurologic exam, detailed medical history and written tests of cognitive functioning with neuroimaging...," said Rahul Desikan of Boston University School of Medicine and co-author of the paper.
"Our findings show the feasibility and importance of using automated, MRI-based neuroatomic measures as a diagnostic marker for Alzheimer's disease," Desikan said, according to an MGH release.
Since drugs that may slow the progression of Alzheimer's are in development, the ability to treat patients in the earliest stages of the disease may significantly delay progression to dementia.
These findings will appear in Brain and have been released online.