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Brain Imaging Illuminates Alzheimer Risk

A new study from the University of Kansas School of Medicine demonstrates that brain imaging can determine the genetic risk for Alzheimer’s in healthy subjects.

Investigators used automated neuroimaging analysis techniques to characterize the impact of an AD-risk gene, apolipoprotein E (ApoE4), on gray and white matter in the brains of cognitively healthy elderly from the KU Brain Aging Project.

They found that healthy elderly individuals carrying a risk-allele of the ApoE4 gene had reduced cognitive performance, decreased brain volume in the hippocampus and amygdala (regions important for memory processing), and decreased white matter integrity in limbic regions.

These type of brain changes are also found in people with AD. Therefore, brain changes, usually found in AD patients, are also evident in nondemented individuals who have a genetic risk of later developing AD.

Lead investigator, Robyn Honea, DPhil, Research Assistant Professor, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Alzheimer’s and Memory Group, comments, “It is important to note that findings of imaging phenotypes of risk variants, such as with this gene, have been shown in a number of studies.

“The unique element of our study is that we used several new neuroimaging analysis techniques. In addition, the individuals in our study have been well-characterized in a clinical setting.”

The results of this study are published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Source: IOS Press

Brain Imaging Illuminates Alzheimer Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Brain Imaging Illuminates Alzheimer Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/11/18/brain-imaging-illuminates-alzheimer-risk/9639.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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