By utilizing modern clinical imaging, researchers are sometimes able to better understand what is happening and changing in the brains of those diagnosed with Dementia. Clinical imaging is like their window to the world inside the human skull. It helps these experts to be able to diagnose and then monitor changes of the various forms of Dementia.
The modern day techniques used what most people know as an MRI – a magnetic resonance imaging device. Sometimes you have to go into a tube (that people that are claustrophobic absolutely hate getting into), but they even have open MRI machines today for some purposes.
These devices are able to reveal structural and functional differences that have occurred in the brains of your clients that have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, AD. The data brought to light may even be able to identify small vessel disease.
On the other hand, what are called PET scans, use technology known as ligands. Ligands are actually radioactive molecules that bind to a person’s proteins to show chemical functions of tissues and organs in the rest of their body. By using ligands, experts are able to produce images of the brain’s activity.
The NIA, the National Institute on Aging, funds the scientists that are busy testing the new PET ligands that bind to beta-amyloid to ensure early detection of Alzheimer’s-type pathology and any cognitive decline that is in process. The PET ligands discovered show that they bind to aggregates of tau that are present and ongoing with those individuals that have very early-stage AD.
So, by using these technological devices, early diagnosis, tracking and hopefully with further research, preventatives and possible cures could potentially come to light. Let’s hope so. Here’s to hoping that the scientists and medical professionals involved are interested in showing that With Age Comes Respect more so than the sound of coins jingling in their pockets!