Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that results in brain cells wasting and dying. It’s the leading cause of dementia – an ongoing decline in thinking, social and behavioral skills that interfere with one’s ability to function independently.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting recent conversations and events. But as it advances, the patient develops severe memory impairment and becomes unable to execute daily tasks. People with Alzheimer’s may repeat questions and statements over and over, forget appointments, conversations and not remember them later, routinely misplace possession, get lost in familiar places, have trouble finding the right words to express thoughts, identify objects or participate in the conversation. They eventually forget the names of everyday objects and family members.
Unfortunately, about 5.4 million Americans live with the disease today – of US citizens aged 65+, 1 in 8 has Alzheimer’s disease. It is the 6th leading cause of death in America and the 5th leading cause of death for people aged 65+.
Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease
As with most conditions, the early detection is beneficial to the patient and physician as well. It also allows the caregiver to educate the patient on a range of treatment options available to them. The patient, on the other hand, will understand the situation they are dealing with and therefore start evaluating their options and plan for their future.
Although there isn’t a definitive test for early diagnosis of the disease, there’s now diagnostic procedure using an MRI and a special post-processing volumetric technology called NeuroQuant. This is FDA approved software that helps physicians to detect Alzheimer’s diseases, among other memory and cognition symptoms. The imaging technique offers an objective measure of brain volume, particularly the size of brain structures often destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease.
NeuroQuant MRI Boise Idaho takes high-resolution images from a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain to measure the volume of temporal horn, hippocampus, and other brain structures. The hippocampus, a small organ located within the medial temporal lobe or the brain, forms a crucial part of the limbic system which regulates emotions; It is often associated with memory – specifically long-term memory and spatial navigation. According to research, Alzheimer’s disease happens when there’s shrinkage of the volume of the entire brain, and particularly, the hippocampus.
The procedure presents different reports:
There are different types of reports. Here are some examples
- General Multi-Structure atrophy report: this report can be used to analyze the volume of nine different brain structures during the initial and follow-up assessment to help track MS and other age-related neurodegenerative conditions.
- Age-related atrophy report: this one provides an assessment of the degeneration of the hippocampus and inferior lateral ventricles and is instrumental in the diagnosis and evaluation of Alzheimer’s, as well as frontotemporal dementia.
NeuroQuant can also be utilized for comparative reasons. Alzheimer’s is progressive, so clinicians may study the patient’s brain when he or she presents signs of Alzheimer’s and then perform follow up tests at specific times to observe if atrophy has occurred and if so, see the at which rate it is happening.