PET-CT exams help identify cognitive reserve in early-onset Alzheimer's disease

May 2, 2011, American Roentgen Ray Society

A recent study revealed that the "cognitive reserve" in early-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) and PET-CT examinations can be used to effectively to identify early-onset AD patients.

"Although early-onset Alzheimer's dementia is quite rare, it can be devastating to the patients that carry the diagnosis," said Dr. Jacob Richard Hodge, lead researcher for this study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Symptoms are often unexpected and support networks are generally directed towards an older population."

In patients presenting with similar clinical severities of the disease, researchers for this study discovered a "cognitive reserve," which slowed the outward expression of symptoms. "Our research demonstrates that those patients with increasing education are better able to cope with the before they express the symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia," Dr. Hodge said. This study evaluated PET-CT examinations in 91patients under age 65 to see if this cognitive reserve could be identified with early-onset AD, which often has a more aggressive course and progression.

Additionally, researchers replicated previously published data using PET-CT examinations, and they were able to detect significant abnormalities in patients with early-onset AD, thereby supporting its usefulness with younger patients. "Alzheimer's is often not suspected in younger patients," Dr. Hodge said. "Therefore, PET-CT brain imaging can be helpful in the diagnosis."

While the discovery of the "cognitive reserve" will not slow the progression of the disease, Hodge is confident that patients can improve the quality of their lives with the proper diagnosis and education. "Once the diagnosis is determined, a patient can begin to manage the disease and plan for the future," Dr. Hodge stated.

Dr. Hodge will deliver a presentation on this study on Monday, May 2, 2011 at the 2011 ARRS Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Rocky start for Alzheimer's drug research in 2018

January 19, 2018
The year 2018, barely underway, has already dealt a series of disheartening blows to the quest for an Alzheimer's cure.

Alzheimer's disease: Neuronal loss very limited

January 17, 2018
Frequently encountered in the elderly, Alzheimer's is considered a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it is accompanied by a significant, progressive loss of neurons and their nerve endings, or synapses. A joint ...

Anxiety: An early indicator of Alzheimer's disease?

January 12, 2018
A new study suggests an association between elevated amyloid beta levels and the worsening of anxiety symptoms. The findings support the hypothesis that neuropsychiatric symptoms could represent the early manifestation of ...

One of the most promising drugs for Alzheimer's disease fails in clinical trials

January 11, 2018
To the roughly 400 clinical trials that have tested some experimental treatment for Alzheimer's disease and come up short, we can now add three more.

Different disease types associated with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains found in Alzheimer's patients

January 9, 2018
An international team of researchers has found different disease type associations with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains in the brains of dead Alzheimer's patients. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National ...

Advances in brain imaging settle debate over spread of key protein in Alzheimer's

January 5, 2018
Recent advances in brain imaging have enabled scientists to show for the first time that a key protein which causes nerve cell death spreads throughout the brain in Alzheimer's disease - and hence that blocking its spread ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.