Alzheimer's disease 'disrupts several of the brain's networks'

20 September 2012

New research has looked to gain insight into how coordination among several of the brain's networks becomes disrupted during the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Beau Ances, assistant professor of neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, led a group of researchers into a study of brain scans of 559 subjects.

While some of the subjects were deemed cognitively normal, other patients were in the early stages of very mild to mild Alzheimer's disease.

Upon analysing the two groups, the scientists underlined that all of the networks were impaired where signs of Alzheimer's disease were present.

Mr Ances was keen to point out: "Communications within and between networks are disrupted, but it doesn't happen all at once.

"There's even one network that has a momentary surge of improved connections before it starts dropping again. That's the salience network, which helps you determine what in your environment you need to pay attention to."

According to the Alzheimer's Society, around 650,000 people in England suffer from dementia, with around 62 per cent of these cases being caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...


Diagnostic imaging

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)