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Summary: Study reveals changes in blood flow to different brain areas may be the earliest sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Source: Alzheimer’s Research UK.
A new study has shown that changes in blood flow to different brain areas may be one of the earliest changes in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The research is published today in the journal Nature Communications.
Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada studied brain scans, blood samples and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 1,171 people who were part of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Some of the participants were healthy, while some had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – problems with memory and thinking not severe enough to be classed as Alzheimer’s – and others had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The first changes in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease are known to take place several years before symptoms such as memory loss appear, and the team set out to investigate some of these changes and understand the order in which they occur.
The researchers looked at several types of brain scan designed to measure different features that have been linked to the disease, including:
build-up of the protein amyloid, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s
changes in glucose metabolism – an indicator of how much energy the brain is using