Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting to grips with the neuroscience of Alzheimer's

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have been using MRI scans to investigate what happens in people's brains when they develop Alzheimer's disease. They followed 52 people with mild cognitive impairment, often seen as a forerunner of dementia, over five to six years; 23 of them went on to develop full-blown Alzheimer's. The researchers concentrated on a region deep within the brain called the substantia innominata. They found that although this region was unaffected the parts of the cerebral cortex (which is responsible for reasoning and memory) that received signals from it were significantly thinner in those people who went on to develop Alzheimer's.

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