MRI may help diagnose dementia
Despite similar symptoms, Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) have very different underlying processes that affect the brain. Though both conditions are forms of dementia, they are different, and previously, diagnosis was very difficult. However, new research from the Perelman School of Medicine and Frontotemporal Degeneration Center at the University of Pennsylvania indicates that a new MRI method may help provide information necessary for differentiating between the two forms of dementia.
Normally, MRI and clinical symptoms are used to diagnose dementia, though FTLD and Alzheimer's may appear to be very similar. For further diagnosis, doctors had to use a lumbar puncture to perform an analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid, though the procedure is said to be extremely painful.
This new study indicates that high-resolution MRI could be used to predict the ratio of two biomarkers for the diseases in the cerebrospinal fluid without requiring a lumbar puncture. This could provide more accurate diagnoses and could alter the way that it is treated in the future.