What is it about?
The number of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients will explode in the next couple of decades, and their patient care is extremely expensive. The diagnosis of AD is challenging and costly. This study tries to improve the diagnosis of AD through the study of subregions of the hippocampus, a brain region strongly associated with AD. We used a large group of elderly Koreans with AD, at risk of AD, and without symptoms of cognitive decline. They were divided into six groups based on their level of cognitive functioning and amyloid deposition in the brain measured through positron emission tomography (PET). Traditionally, the total volume of the hippocampus is measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but we measured the volumes of the subregions of the hippocampus of the six groups. There were clear differences in the volumes between the six groups which will help improve the classification of the individuals during the diagnosis of AD.
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Why is it important?
Diagnosing AD is expensive, and this study provides a cost-effective method to help improve AD diagnosis. The hippocampus subregions can be measured through MRI, which is a commonly used and non-invasive technique available widely in most hospitals. The changes in brain volumes function as early-warning signs that will allow the individuals to make much earlier changes in the right direction concerning food habits, lifestyle, and other life routines; these changes will delay the onset of AD. Early accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is very important for the effective management of the disease by the individual and their family. Our study shows that focusing on hippocampal subregions can improve early and accurate diagnosis.
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This page is a summary of: Can hippocampal subfield measures supply information that could be used to improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease?, PLoS ONE, November 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275233.
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