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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Radioactive dye, injected into system allows researchers to study plaque buildup in brain

Dementia, like Alzheimer's is a disease that usually effects the elderly. In the manner of Alzheimer's plaque begins to collect in the brain at an advanced age. This drastically effects the patient's memory, cognitive ability and motor skills, with many winding up spending the rest of their lives in assisted care facilities. Now, a radioactive dye, used by researchers, will aid in the diagnosis and prevention of dementia.

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, tested 152 patients older than 50 years of age to see if they could predict cognitive decline by tracking changes in the brain.

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, tested 152 patients older than 50 years of age to see if they could predict cognitive decline by tracking changes in the brain.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Dementia, radioactive dye, cognitive problems


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The procedure, which detects amyloid plaque could help to predict the onset of Alzheimer's in patients who have not yet displayed any symptoms.

It is hoped that an early diagnosis will allow doctors to halt the progression of Alzheimer's before it takes hold.

Let's pray that there are advances made in improving this condition --

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, tested 152 patients older than 50 years of age to see if they could predict cognitive decline by tracking changes in the brain.

Some test subjects had normal cognitive function at the start of the study, while others had recently been diagnosed with mild impairment. A third group had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

After sitting cognitive tests, test subjects were injected with the dye florbetapir, which binds to beta-amyloid plaque - before undergoing brain scans. The test subjects then took the cognitive tests again three years later.

Participants with mild or no cognitive impairment, whose brains contained the dementia-linked plaque at the start of the trial scored significantly worse when they took the tests a second time, compared with those whose scans were negative.

According to the online almanac Wikipedia, in the early stage of dementia, the person will begin to show symptoms noticeable to the people around them. In addition, the symptoms begin to interfere with daily activities. The symptoms are dependent on the type of dementia a person has. The person may begin to have difficulty with more complicated chores and tasks around the house. The person can usually still take care of him or herself but may forget things like taking pills or doing laundry and may need prompting or reminders.

The symptoms of early dementia usually include memory difficulty, but can also include some word-finding problems, called anomia and problems with planning and organizational skills, or executive function. One very good way of assessing a person's impairment is by asking if he or she is still able to handle his/her finances independently. This is often one of the first things to become problematic. Other signs might be getting lost in new places, repeating things, personality changes, social withdrawal and difficulties at work.

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