How Brain MRI can Help Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease

By your late 70s, most people start to have mild memory loss. It’s a normal part of ageing says CDI neuroradiologist Ricardo Sanchez. “A subtle sign would be an inability to recognize a person that they should recognize or it may take them a little bit longer to identify that person.

New medications hold the promise of slowing the disease and an accurate diagnosis can help families make important decisions about care and quality of life.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5. 7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million as the number of older Americans rapidly grows. Leading more and more people to their doctor, looking for a diagnosis.

An MRI of the brain can help with that diagnosis. The images help your radiologist immediately rule out certain diseases. I want to make sure that I’m not dealing with a cerebral infarction, a stroke, old trauma, an unexpected brain tumour. Then advanced software compares your brain volumes to a large database of gender and age-matched patients. The comparison can help you know whether memory-loss is related to Alzheimer’s.

This is important, because as we all know there is a tremendous amount of research, a massive effort, in the United States and other countries, to try to understand and treat Alzheimer’s. New medications hold the promise of slowing the disease and an accurate diagnosis can help families make important decisions about care and quality of life. I’m glad that we are able to make a contribution to the patient’s diagnosis and to be able to reassure the clinician that this is the disease process that we think we’re dealing with.

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