Researcher at Duke leading study on cognitive impairment predict - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Researcher at Duke leading study on cognitive impairment prediction

Posted: Updated:
P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the neurocognitive disorders program at Duke. P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the neurocognitive disorders program at Duke.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A researcher at Duke Hospitals is leading a new study that hopes to allow doctors to more accurately predict if a patient will develop cognitive impairments.

Researchers looked for the build up of a certain plaque in the brain using images taken after the body was injected with a radioactive dye.

"Our research found that healthy adults and those with mild memory loss who have a positive scan for these plaques have a much faster rate of decline on memory, language and reasoning over three years," said lead author P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the neurocognitive disorders program at Duke.

Duke medicine said the study consisted of 152 adults ages 50 and older and was designed to assess silent pathological changes in the brain using positron emission tomography.

PET imaging uses a radioactive tracer to look for chemical signs of disease in certain tissues, Duke Medicine said. Duke said scans are classified as positive or negative by researchers.

Of the study participants, 69 had normal cognitive function at the start of the study, 52 had been recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, and 31 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Duke said.

At the start of the study, participants completed cognitive tests and underwent PET scans of their brains, Duke said.

After 36 months, the researchers repeated the same cognitive exams to reassess the study subjects, Duke said.

Researchers said those with mild or no cognitive impairment who had evidence of plaques at the trial's start worsened on cognitive tests as compared to those with negative scans.

"Having a negative scan could reassure people that they are not likely to be at risk for progression in the near future," Doraiswamy said.

A total of 90 percent of participants with mild cognitive impairment but no plaque did not progress to Alzheimer's, Duke Medicine said.

Doraiswamy said more studies are needed as the use of this radioactive dye is not approved to predict the development of dementia.

"Even though our study suggests the test has predictive value in normal adults, we still need additional evidence," Doraiswamy said. "We need longer-term studies to look at the consequences of silent brain plaque build-up, given that it affects 15 to 30 percent of normal older people."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • MORE DETAILS: Family Releases Statement on Father, Daughter Death

    MORE DETAILS: Family Releases Statement on Father, Daughter Death

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:22 GMT
    911 calls tell the story story of what happened before and after the tragic freak accident
    911 calls tell the story story of what happened before and after the tragic freak accident
  • UPDATE: Suspect Not Found In 35th St. Home In Savannah

    UPDATE: Suspect Not Found In 35th St. Home In Savannah

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-07-29 05:00:19 GMT
    Metro Police are on the scene of a possible hostage situation.
    Metro Police are on the scene of a possible hostage situation.
  • Parents Arrested: Daughter Left in Hot Car

    Parents Arrested: Daughter Left in Hot Car

    Parents arrested after three-year-old girl is locked alone inside 104 degree car for 20 minutes in shopping mall car park.Ho Kim, 33, and Tae Kim, 35, are accused of leaving their daughter locked inside the vehicle at the Brea Mall in Brea, California, while they shopped.This all comes after 18 children have died so far this year after suffering heatstroke after being left inside hot cars. But in this latest case, the girl was saved after someone saw her inside a black Nissan mini van. Police...
    Parents arrested after three-year-old girl is locked alone inside 104 degree car for 20 minutes in shopping mall car park.Ho Kim, 33, and Tae Kim, 35, are accused of leaving their daughter locked inside the vehicle at the Brea Mall in Brea, California, while they shopped.This all comes after 18 children have died so far this year after suffering heatstroke after being left inside hot cars. But in this latest case, the girl was saved after someone saw her inside a black Nissan mini van. Police...
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.