2.19.2006

Alzheimer's Centers to Explore MRI research
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There is a major focus on using MRI, including at UCSF, to identify early cases of Alzheimer's Disease.


WASHINGTON (CogLabs Newswire) -- Jim Walton saw the signs.

The repeated questions. The erratic driving. The disorientation.

Thelma Walton, his wife of more than 45 years, was developing Alzheimer's disease and he vividly remembers the day the nurse told them the bad news.

"We tested her, and the nurse came out and said, 'You're going to lose her.' Well, I decided I was not going to allow that to happen."

That was eight years ago. But now the Waltons can look back on 53 wedding anniversaries. Jim has kept his promise -- he has not lost his wife.

However, many Americans have lost loved ones or had their lives impacted by the disease. Researchers are attempting to learn more about the disease's mysterious origins -- which they hope will bring them closer to finding the elusive cure.

The search continues with a study sponsored by the National Institute of Health, starting this month at medical centers around the country, including Duke University.

Investigators are hoping that improved methods of brain scanning will allow them to detect the earliest indicators, or "markers," of the disease. Drugs could then be created to target these indicators in hopes of stopping Alzheimer's disease before it starts.

"We hope that brain scans can reveal markers, so drug companies can know whether a drug is working," said Duke's P. Murali Doraiswamy. "It'll also help physicians stage patients better." >>read more



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