Diagnostic imaging could soon help to improve the detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and ensure they get the crucial early treatment they need to prevent the illness developing rapidly.
Scientists from the European PredictAD project have engineered a clinical tool which is capable of comparing biomarkers of a patient and alerting doctors to people who are at high risk of developing the brain condition.
Currently, patients are diagnosed via a subjective process that relies on interviews with the patient's friends and family.
"The PredictAD tool provides a new option to support decision making by providing objective information about the patient", says Professor Hilkka Soininen, who led the study at the University of Eastern Finland.
Doctors explained that improved diagnosis of the condition could delay the onset of dementia by up to five years and may halve the healthcare costs associated with the illness.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, there are currently 750,000 individuals with dementia in the UK.