How do you diagnose Alzheimer`s without a scan?
Thats what neurologists are trying to find out in the wake of the diagnosis of the disease.
The University of Washington has found a new way to do it.
It`s called a deep brain stimulation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison is trying to do the same.
Both have shown promise in their own ways.
The UW-Madison study uses a computerized brain model that can track brain activity over time.
It is also an improvement over the standard MRI method, which is prone to artifacts and the possibility of false positives.
The university found a correlation between brain activity and cognitive decline.
Brain scans from the UW-Mansfield study showed that the more frequent the activation, the greater the severity of the cognitive decline and the greater likelihood of developing Alzheimer` s disease.
Brain activity can also be used to predict how a person will develop dementia.
It can help the doctors determine the most appropriate treatment plan for a patient, says Dr. William Stapleton, an associate professor in the UW School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
In the UW study, scientists measured brain activity from eight volunteers as they played a computer game.
They also used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to look at the brain as it processed the information.
The brain activity was measured at two points during the game, and the researchers then compared that with what the participants were actually experiencing.
They found that the brain activity correlated with cognitive decline, as expected.
Researchers hope that their method will be able to detect brain abnormalities in the elderly as they progress through the disease and may be used in dementia prevention programs.
They also hope to use the brain scan to diagnose dementia in people younger than 65, who may have a slower cognitive function.
Stapleton says the technique is not yet used in clinical settings and that the research has to be validated in a larger study.
But it is the first time he has seen it applied to the elderly, he says.
For years, researchers have been using fMRI to study the brains of people with dementia.
In the past decade, fMRI has become a standard tool for studying brain function and to map the changes in the brain in people who are experiencing memory loss.
The technique is very sensitive to the way that the patient is moving and moving in response to stimuli, Stapley says.
He hopes the UW’s method will also be more useful for patients younger than age 65.
Brain scans can show the extent of brain activity in a person over time, he notes.
If the patient has Alzheimer`S disease, they will have more activity in their brains than people who have other conditions.
It also provides a way to measure brain changes over time without relying on people having their entire brains scanned.
But it could also give researchers more clues to Alzheimer`’s disease in the long term.
If someone is getting older, the brain is getting slower and less active, Stapsleton says.
The new UW-Milwaukee study also looked at brain activity before and after the study participant underwent a neurosurgery procedure to remove a small part of the cortex that contains a part of a white matter cell.
After the procedure, the white matter cells in the cortex had a lower activity and the patient showed signs of cognitive decline over time compared with healthy people.
“Our research suggests that the white-matter cells that we removed from the brain are still there,” Staplet says.
“The white matter is still active, but it is more active than the healthy brain.”
Researchers are also testing how brain activity changes during sleep.
They used functional MRI to measure the activity in two participants during a 15-minute nap.
The sleepers were randomly assigned to a brain scan while they slept or a nap.
When researchers measured the activity of the volunteers while asleep, the researchers found that people who had experienced the nap had a slightly lower brain activity.
However, when the volunteers woke up, their brain activity returned to normal.
While the UW researchers found the results similar to those in healthy people, Stapeleton says it is important to note that it is still not known whether the sleep-related differences would persist over time in the healthy volunteers.
If the UW method is successful, the UW research team plans to test it in a small number of patients, Strapleton says, and then apply it to more people.
In a follow-up study, Stappingleton plans to compare the UW findings with data from a large study of older people with Alzheimer` d.
He hopes to see a similar pattern in a large cohort of older adults.
Dr. Michael Molloy is a professor of neurology at the UW Medical School and the director of the UW Institute for Brain Sciences.
He is a member of the Neurology Fellowship Program and the Neurosurgery Fellowship Program.
He previously was a