Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania believe they may have discovered how to distinguish between different types of dementia without the need for invasive lumbar puncture tests to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (csf).
Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia share similar features and symptoms and can be hard to differentiate. Alzheimer’s tends to attack the cerebral cortex whereas frontotemporal dementia tends to affect the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain.
It appears that using MRI brain scans alone it is possible to accurately identify and differentiate between Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia, based on structural brain patterns in MRI scans.
Read more: BBC News: Brain scan ‘can sort dementia by type’.
Brain scan ‘can sort dementia by type’. London: BBC News, December 27th 2012.
This relates to:
Full Text Link (a) (Note: This article may require a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Habeck, C. Whitwell, JL. (2012). Structural brain imaging and multivariate analysis enable virtual lumbar punctures. Neurology, December 26th 2012. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Full Text Link (b) (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
McMillan, CT. Avants, B. [and] Irwin, DJ. [et al] (2012). Can MRI screen for CSF biomarkers in neurodegenerative disease? Neurology, December 26th 2012. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
“Specifically, MRI-predicted and actual CSF tt/Aβ values are highly correlated… Predicted tt/Aβ accurately defines the anatomic distribution in Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and predicted tt/Aβ values are reasonably accurate for classifying individual patients as having Alzheimer’s disease or FTLD pathology”.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 5, January 2013].