Brain scan to spot Alzheimer's may be available this year

9th June 2011

Brain scans which detect the presence of Alzheimer's disease earlier and more accurately could be being used in hospitals around the US by the end of the year, it has been claimed.

Companies have been working on scanners to detect the presence of a protein which causes the degenerative disease for some time, but Dr Christopher Rowe, who has published a study on the scans and consulted for one of the companies, said that some may be around by the end of the year.

He said: "You'll get a more accurate and earlier diagnosis, which can be important to people who want to know what’s going on when their memory is starting to decline. Unfortunately, until there's an effective therapy, there's nothing that can be done to stop the progression of the disease."

He added that the real value of the scans would be seen when treatment was discovered.

There are around 750,000 people in the UK suffering from Alzheimer's at the moment. The Alzheimer's Society believes this is set to increase as the population ages.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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