Europe – Research from Imperial College London shows single brain scan could diagnose Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's disease could be diagnosed with a single MRI brain scan, according to new research by Imperial College London.

Currently, doctors use a raft of tests to diagnose Alzheimer’s, including memory and cognitive tests which can take several weeks, both to arrange and to process. The new approach requires only one of these, an MRI brain scan taken on a standard 1.5 Tesla machine, commonly found in most hospitals.

The new approach is an adaptation of an algorithm developed for use in classifying cancer tumours. Researchers divided the brain into regions and allocated different features to each of these, training the algorithm to identify where changes to these features could accurately predict the existence of Alzheimer’s.

This was tested on brain scans from over 400 patients with early and later stage Alzheimer’s, healthy controls and patients with other neurological conditions. They also tested the approach with data from over 80 patients undergoing diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust…