Narrator: This is Science Today. Methods currently used to diagnose Alzheimer's Disease have limitations and that's why a new imaging technique developed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, may fulfill a great need. Dr. Michael Weiner, used a method called magnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect Alzheimer's by measuring certain brain chemicals associated with the disease. Weiner says brain imaging may have an important role in early detection.
Weiner:Because aside from imaging, the way that a physician assesses a patient is largely through interviews, psychological testing and neurological examination.
Narrator: But Weiner says a patient's cognition and memory can be affected by a number of factors, including being distracted or depressed by life events - which often occur in the elderly.
Weiner: So it's important to have a test that really tells you what's going on in the brain. And that's the beauty of imaging, because it doesn't depend on the patient's attitude or mood or cooperation. You can measure the structure of the brain, you can measure the amount of brain tissue and you can measure various chemicals in the brain.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.