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A. An Imaging Technique that Helps Detect Alzheimer's Disease

Narrator: This is Science Today. An imaging technique that measures brain chemicals associated with cognitive damage may provide researchers with an easy, non-invasive way to distinguish Alzheimer's patients from those without the disease. Dr. Norbert Schuff, a radiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, used an imaging technique similar to MRI called magnetic resonance spectroscopy, or MRS.

Schuff: We look for markers that are more specific to indicate neuron loss or neuron dysfunction.

Narrator: Using MRS, the researchers specifically detected patterns of damage in the brain consistent with those known to be associated with Alzheimer's Disease. This could potentially improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer's and serve as a tool to follow its progression, but Schuff says the cause of the damage is not yet fully understood.

Schuff: It's like seeing that your cholesterol level is out of norm, but you really don't know why it is so, therefore at the moment, it will not be possible to use this as a final tool to make a decision whether someone has Alzheimer's Disease or not.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.