Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative condition in the brain that currently has no cure. Most instances of Alzheimer’s occur in old age as the brain slowly deteriorates. There is no definitive test for this disease, but we do have a few ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s. The first is with cognitive testing. Doctors evaluate a person’s memory, communication skills, executive functioning, and general cognitive function. They can also use an MRI. Here are a few ways that MRIs can be used to diagnose this disease:
Ruling out Other Conditions
Alzheimer’s disease is not the only condition that can cause memory loss, so an MRI can be helpful when it comes to making sure that there isn’t another explanation for the symptoms. Brain tumor, stroke, and normal pressure hydrocephalus are all conditions that can cause memory loss. They are also identifiable on an MRI scan. These conditions, unlike Alzheimer’s, can be reversed with proper treatment.
Measuring the Volume of the Brain
MRI scans can be used to create a 3D image of the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, we typically see atrophy in the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for accessing memory. The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss and one of the first symptoms to appear. The parietal lobe, located in the upper back part of the brain can also display atrophy. It is responsible for things like visual perception, the body’s send of location, and ordering and calculation.
North Dover Radiology provides advanced imaging in Toms River, NJ, including open MRI. Make an appointment at our clinic online or call us at 732-370-9902.