EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF DEMENTIA AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

 

Advanced Imaging Solutions for Faster Answers

There are a number of diseases and conditions that can cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Rapidly identifying the cause cognitive impairment can help broaden the range of therapeutic or treatment options available. Advanced imaging technologies can provide doctors far more information and a more accurate understanding than ever before.

 

ADVANCED IMAGING CAN HELP ACCELERATE DIAGNOSIS

 

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by chronic neurotoxic protein deposition leading to brain shrinkage (atrophy), short term memory loss, and cognitive impairment.  Hippocampus is one crucial structure typically involved in Alzheimer’s disease. It helps regulate emotions, manage the conversion of short to long-term memory, and plays a vital role in a person’s spatial navigation abilities.

A specialized technique that leverages MRI, called 3-D volumetric quantitative analysis (NeuroQuant), measures the volume of the hippocampus and other brain structures that can be affected by a number of neurological disorders, including Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia, and pseudo-dementia.

Additionally Amyvid PET-CT imaging can be used to identify neuro-toxic beta-amyloid protein deposited in the brain decades before the tragic volume loss that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

 

PET AND CT SCANS

 

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/ Computed Tomography (CT) imaging enables the radiologist to see what’s happening inside the brain at a molecular level to help identify or rule-out cellular or chemical changes that indicate a specific disease.

Early diagnosis of the cause of cognitive impairment can help direct the appropriate treatment or therapy sooner, and provide a longer period of healthier mental function.

 

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
AND
OTHER BRIAN DISEASES

 

Doctors have learned a great deal more about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with the help of advanced neuroradiology technology. TBI happens more often than previously suspected, and that it doesn’t take a severe head trauma to create a potentially serious injury to the brain.


Standard MRI and CT scanning have been used to detect larger fractures and brain hemorrhages resulting from head injuries, but smaller brain injuries (e.g., CTE, DAI) may go undetected without the development of advanced neuroradiology.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a debilitating condition with long-term, life-altering consequences resulting from TBI. CTE has been found in the brains of  football athletes, contact sports players, and military personnel who were exposed to explosive blasts. Symptoms of CTE include difficulties with thinking, physical problems, emotions and other behaviors.

Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI), is also very difficult, if not impossible, to detect with standard imaging techniques. DAI affects the electrical circuits in the brain, essentially unplugging connections the brain needs to control movement, sensation, cognition or other important functions.

Another type of easy to miss brain disease, is a metastasis to the brain. It is silent and is found on routine screening after the primary cancer is found. Weakness of an arm or leg, speech or visual disturbance, or balance problems are the most common symptoms. Headache, nausea and vomiting are non-specific symptoms of increased intracranial pressure.

 

ADVANCED NEURORADIOLOGY HELPS UNCOVER "HIDDEN DISEASES"

 

Advanced neuroradiology imaging uses specialized, highly sensitive MRI and CT scans to find “hidden diseases". Specially trained radiologists read the results and interpret them for the treating physician to help drive the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

For more information on this and other radiology procedures, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org.

 

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