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Alzheimer's 'breakthrough' provides 24-hr diagnosis

9th March 2011

A breakthrough has been made in the fight against Alzheimer's, thanks to a new process which experts claim can diagnose the disease in less than a day.

According to scientists at the Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, based at the Maudsley Hospital and King's College London, the test uses a magnetic resonance imaging scanner to take detailed pictures of the brain.

The images are then compared with those of 1,200 Alzheimer's sufferers on a database and the results are produced within 24 hours, enabling quicker referral for treatment.

Dr Andy Simmons, a consultant clinical scientist at King's College London, said the other benefits of using the new test include greater accuracy than existing diagnosis methods, such as memory tests.

'The advantage of having an early diagnosis through the scan is that people can be given treatment. This can slow down the progression, although it can never cure the disease,' he added.

A link between atrial fibrillation and Alzheimer's has meanwhile been identified by experts at the University of East Anglia, who claim that drugs used to treat stroke survivors may help to prevent the onset of dementia. 

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