Using an advanced MRI scan, researchers believe they have found changes in the chemistry of the brains of people with no cognitive problems that signal who is at future risk for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
And although there is no good treatment or cure for the disease, experts say finding ways to identify those at risk is essential when treatments and possibly a cure become available.
"We found biochemical changes that correlated with cognitive performance," said lead researcher Dr. Kejal Kantarci, a radiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "The better people did on tests that measure cognitive abilities, the fewer changes there were."
These biochemical changes were also associated with other changes in the brain that are markers for Alzheimer's disease, Kantarci said. Kantarci said that people should not be looking at getting scans to detect these changes. "We are just at the early stages of identifying markers," she stressed.
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