MRI Technology Could Speed Up Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Scientists Say

One of the most widely used tools in radiology could help physicians more accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage, the journal Radiology reported in its July issue.

Currently, there are several tools to diagnose the degenerative disease with up to 90-percent accuracy, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but the process is often lengthy.

However, French radiologists reported they were able to simplify the process by using an automated system for measuring the brain tissue with magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly referred to as an MRI.

When someone is suffering from Alzheimer's, nerve cell death and tissue loss cause all areas of the brain — especially the hippocampus region – to shrink.

The encouraging news about this study is that MRI scans can pick up a problem.

Currently, tests required to diagnose Alzheimer’s are "time-consuming and requires specific expertise," explained study author Olivier Colliot, a researcher from the Cognitive Neuroscience and Brain Imaging in Paris, in a press release

"As a result, it hasn't become part of clinical routine. Our method allows performing this procedure automatically and within a few minutes."

More than 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s.

Click here to read more about the study.

Click here for more information about Alzheimer’s from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).