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Brain Imaging May Lead to an Earlier Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer's disease is a disorder that affects many elderly people. According to the National Institutes of Health, the early stages of Alzheimer's disease are often confused with the aging process. These symptoms include misplacing items, repeating statements and difficulties performing tasks. When the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease become more noticeable, the neurological damage has become serious. Examples of more advanced symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, depression, agitation, violent behavior and memory problems, according to the National Institutes of Health.

According to an article on Fox Business, research presented at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Vienna may provide a better way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. Physicians can use MRI and PET scans to measure changes in the brain, memory tests and detection of “risk” proteins in body fluids to diagnose Alzheimer's disease sooner and more accurately. The possibility of diagnosing Alzheimer's disease earlier is incredibly important for women. According to the National Institutes of Health, women are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Three studies were discussed at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference that dealt with Alzheimer's disease diagnosis: “Memory Tests and Hippocampal Volume May Accurately Diagnose Early Alzheimer's” (Trinity College Dublin), “Poor Results on PET Brain Measurements and Memory Test Scores Increase Alzheimer's Risk 15 Times for People with MCI” (University of California, Berkeley), and “PET Measurements of the Hippocampus May Improve Alzheimer's Diagnosis” (New York University School of Medicine). All of these studies echoed the importance of using brain scans and memory tests in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease early.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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