MRI software predicts Alzheimer's disease

September 1, 2009

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are using automated MRI software to detect individuals in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer's disease with 95% accuracy.

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are using automated MRI software to detect individuals in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer's disease with 95% accuracy.

Dr. Rahul Desikan, a researcher at MGH, and colleagues identified which regions of the brain are affected by AD and mild cognitive impairment in two patient groups of 97 and 216, respectively. Based on earlier pathological and imaging studies, the investigators confirmed that those with AD or MCI demonstrate a significant difference in thickness and volume in their entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, and supramarginal gyrus. The researchers then processed MRI scans of individuals with AD and MCI using FreeSurfer, open source software developed at MGH and the University of California, San Diego (Brain 2009;May 21 online).