The disease Alzheimer can take to many widely deviating symptoms and, so far, its different expressions have mainly been observed in the performance and movements of the patients. The Sweden Lund University researchers have now created pictures presenting changes in the brain associated with these symptoms. A progress which upsurges knowledge and could facilitate future diagnostics and treatment.
If we see the symptoms of Alzheimer’s diseases then they vary in different cases and often link to the phase of the life in which the disease first happens. People who become ill before the age of 65 frequently feel pain early on from moderated spatial perception and impaired orientation. Elderly patients more often suffer the symptoms usually associated with the disease above all, memory impairment.
Michael Scholl, the researcher at Lund University and the University of Gothenburg said: “Now we have a tool which helps us to identify and detect various subgroups of Alzheimer’s disease. This facilitates the development of drugs and treatments adapted to various forms of Alzheimer’s.”
Diagnostics could also be assisted, mostly among younger patients in whom it is particularly problematic to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
The findings, published in the journal Brain, are grounded on studies of around 60 Alzheimer’s patients at Skane University Hospital and a control group comprising of 30 people with no cognitive impairment.
Once Alzheimer’s disease has taken the grip, it slowly results in the tau protein, present in the brain, creating lumps and rescinding the transport routes of the neurons. This can be clearly spotted with the new imaging method.
This method comprises a device known as a PET camera and a trace substance, a specific molecule, which binds to tau. The imaging method is presently only used in research, where the current study is one of several contributing to increased knowledge about the disease.
Oskar Hasson, professor of neurology of Lund University and consultant at Skane University Hospital explains: “The changes in the various parts of the brain that we can see in the images correspond logically to the symptoms in early onset and the late onset Alzheimer’s patients respectively.”
Oskar Hansson has confidence in that the imaging method will be in clinical use within a few years.