MRI May Earlier Detect Biomarker for Alzheimer’s

November 4, 2015

Using MRI to assess hippocampal grading, physicians may be able to predict Alzheimer’s disease up to seven years before dementia.

MRI of the brain may detect Alzheimer’s disease up to seven years before signs appear, according to a study published in Human Brain Mapping.

Researchers from France, Canada, Denmark, and Spain undertook a prospective study to assess the efficiency of an MR-based hippocampal grading score that might detect incident dementia in patients who were cognitively intact. The subjects were followed for 12 years.

The study began with 538 subjects at baseline with Mini-Mental State Evaluation (MMSE) higher than 24 and analyzable MRI. At the end of the study, there were 309 subjects who did not have dementia.

The results showed that hippocampal grading for dementia predicted accuracy up to 72.5%, seven years before subjects began to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease while hippocampal volume was accurate up to 56.9%, and the Mini-Mental State Evaluation (MMSE) 56.9%. There was a gain of percentage points for hippocampal grade (73%) over hippocampal volume (64.6%).[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"42998","attributes":{"alt":"MRI","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_4268438543649","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"4680","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 120px; width: 160px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©nav/Shutterstock.com","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

“Compared with previous studies investigating new biomarkers for AD prediction over much shorter periods, the very long followup of the Three-City cohort demonstrates the important clinical potential of the proposed imaging biomarker,” the authors wrote. “The high accuracy obtained with this new imaging biomarker paves the way for computer-based prognostic aides to help the clinician identify cognitively intact subjects that are at high risk to develop AD,” they concluded.