Researchers want to improve diagnostics for Alzheimer's and vascular dementia
Around 1.5 million people in Germany suffer from dementia, the majority of them have Alzheimer's. The disease is not curable, but its course can be slowed down. For this, the earliest possible diagnosis is crucial. Researchers have now announced that they will improve diagnostics for Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.
More and more people with dementia
The number of people with dementia continues to rise. Around 1.5 million people in Germany are currently affected, most of whom have Alzheimer's. In the past few years, supposedly revolutionary healing methods against Alzheimer's have been propagated several times, but to this day the disease is not curable, only its course can be slowed down. Researchers are working to further improve them.
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's
Special early detection tests have been available for years to calculate the risk of Alzheimer's. Whether such an early Alzheimer's test works is controversial among health experts.
It is criticized that such tests are hardly sufficient for diagnosis and are often only “money-making”. In the meantime, however, various promising options have been presented that can be used to diagnose Alzheimer's.
Scientists from the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Göttingen reported last year on the development of a new blood test for early Alzheimer's detection.
US researchers found in an investigation that an odor test could be useful for quick and easy early diagnosis of dementia.
And a German-Dutch research duo now wants to improve diagnostics for Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.
Improve diagnostics with modern imaging methods
Privatdozent Dr. Marco Düring from the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at the Clinic of the University of Munich (LMU) and Prof. Dr. Geert Jan Biessels from the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus in Utrecht want to improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia with a modern imaging method.
"We will use an innovative imaging technique that makes the mobility of water in the brain tissue visible and measurable," said Dr. Düring in a message.
“This is the so-called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). This is a special type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). ”With the DTI procedure, patients from memory consultations as well as people with hereditary variants of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are examined.
Therapy better adapted to the individual patient
As stated in the communication, many people with Alzheimer's also have changes in the brain vessels that are typical for vascular, i.e. vascular-related, dementia.
So far, it has been difficult to determine the proportion of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia in the patient's symptoms when making the diagnosis. However, this would be of great importance for individual therapy.
“The new imaging method should determine the effects of both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia in the future. Thereby, the therapy can be better adapted to the individual patient and ultimately used more successfully, ”says Dr. During. (ad)