Study: MRI minus contrast agent enough to flag Alzheimer's brain biomarker

Radiologists in Switzerland and the Netherlands say an MRI without a contrast agent was enough to detect a telltale biomarker in the brain for Alzheimer's disease. The Los Angeles Times reported that the study used an imaging technique known as arterial spin labeling to detect low blood flow in the brain's posterior cingulate cortex. This biomarker predicts mental decline 18 months after, according to the story. Researchers recruited 148 patients for their research who, when the trial began, had no dementia. After 18 months, almost half had "deteriorating cognitive function." Patients who showed no decline in cognitive function had normal blood flow in the posterior cingulate cortex, but it was lower in patients who had even mild cognitive decline prior to "deteriorating cognitive function." While more research is needed, the hope is that the diagnostic technique could help spot patients at highest risk for developing Alzheimer's so doctors can intervene sooner for treatment, according to the story. Details are published in the journal Radiology. Story

Suggested Articles

J&J’s Ethicon unit received an FDA clearance for its Vistaseal applicators that spray a biologic sealant from Grifols to help stem surgical bleeding.

Bio-Techne’s urine test has received a breakthrough device designation from the FDA for ruling out unnecessary tissue biopsies.

Qiagen launched a one-stop shop compiling publicly available genomic data, scientific literature and phenotypic information on potential superbugs.