DTI scan may diagnose people with Alzheimer's disease.

POSTED: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 10:08am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:35am

A new experimental type of brain scan may help doctors diagnose people with Alzheimer's disease at an early stage.

The scan, called DTI, seems to be better than a traditional MRI at determining if a person with memory loss has the physical brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. Researchers in Italy used both screening methods on 76 healthy people and then gave them a series of cognitive tests. The DTI scans that detect changes in brain chemistry, did a better job of explaining memory, decline than measuring the brain's volume through an MRI.

Researchers say this type of scan could better help doctors determine if memory loss is due to normal aging or early Alzheimer's.

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