New MRI approach to predict the risk of dementia

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At the moment, there are very few ways and opportunities for the early detection and diagnosis of certain conditions that are close to neurodegenerative – partly because diseases such as Alzheimer's syndrome or dementia as a whole manifest themselves in symptoms only when their symptoms are firmly settled in the brain. However, a talented team of specialists from the University of Washington and the University of San Francisco, according to their assurances, managed to find a new method for the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative conditions, which, they themselves say, will help determine the exact risk of occurrence over the next three years.

Experts have been saying for some time that the most promising candidates for such an effective diagnosis can be modern scanning tools – for example, PET scans and MRI scans. These technologies need a certain push in order to fully implement assistance in this direction. So a team of specialists from the universities of San Francisco and Washington presented their modernized MRI scan technology called diffuse tensor scanning, which primarily relies on the study of the movement of water molecules along the so-called white matter paths.

By registering certain abnormalities or deviations from the usual behavior of water molecules in these paths, specialists can draw up a detailed 3D-picture of violations and thus give certain predictions as to how high the risk of a particular neurodegenerative disease over time is.

It is worth noting that the presented technology is one way or another experimental and so far requires additional verification by the developers themselves when using its various working configurations – however, there can be no doubt that the presented technology will soon become one of the most interesting and used in world, especially in the context of the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.

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