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A. Innovations in Brain Imaging

Narrator: This is Science Today. As researchers continue to explore the cause, effect and possible treatment of Alzheimer's disease, radiologists are working on innovative ways to image the brain. Dr. Michael Weiner, of the University of California, San Francisco, has been working on a variation of magnetic resonance imaging to achieve earlier detection of Alzheimer's Disease.

Weiner: Now up until recently, because there were no effective treatments, the attitude among physicians and the public was well, it didn't really matter what the diagnosis was because you couldn't do anything about it anyway. But now that effective treatments for Alzheimer's Disease are being developed and are available, it becomes much more important to make an accurate diagnosis. And to detect it as early a stage as possible.

Narrator: And better imaging techniques can even help in the development of new drugs.

Weiner: Because it provides a quantitative measure of the drug effect - not just depending on the patient's symptoms or the reports of the family about how the patient is doing, which are very variable.

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