As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: July 31, 2015
by Julia Wong for Global News:
Unique research taking place in Halifax could one day help with the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dr. Steve Patterson, a researcher with BIOTIC, a research imaging lab at the IWK, is leading a study focusing on neurocompensation.
“In Alzheimer’s Disease, people will actually use more or different regions of their brain to perform a task compared to a healthy [person],” he said.
Patterson said scientists believe neurocompensation is an early sign of the disease and presents before behavioural deficits related to Alzheimer’s can be detected.
He and the BIOTIC team are recruiting 20 Alzheimer’s patients over the age of 55 and 20 healthy adults for the study. They currently have eight Alzheimer’s patients and 10 healthy adults.
Study actively recruiting
Suzanne Daniels, a research assistant at BIOTIC, said the study requires two visits to the IWK and one visit to the QE2.
Participants are hooked up to a MEG scanner, which is a non-invasive scanner that detects brain neuron electrical activity. The machine allows researchers to record the magnetic fields that come off of the participants’ brains.
They look at a computer screen and press buttons to differentiate pictures. Then they take a memory test where they are asked if they recognize a picture from the computer test.
“The first part of the test is to prep their brain for the second part … where they’re identifying whether or not they’ve seen the picture before. We can identify where in the brain activation has taken place when they successfully remembered the picture,” she said.
Early diagnosis of the debilitating disease could translate to patients accessing therapies or starting medication programs earlier. The team is hopeful the research will advance understanding of Alzheimer’s as well as contribute to treatment and a cure.
Participant praises research team
Darce Fardy, 83, of Halifax is one of the participants in the study. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s approximately a year and a half ago, but said he doesn’t want to let the disease define him.
“There’s no mourning, no waking up every morning [and being upset],” he said.
Fardy said he was very curious about the neurocompensation study and quickly signed up for it when asked.
“I just was asking a lot of questions as you would. I just kept asking questions and I had a lot of fun with them,” he said.
He has nothing but praise for the BIOTIC team and is confident the research will be fruitful.
Patterson hopes to finish recruitment by the end of September. Researchers said the long-term goal is to create a commercial product for doctors and hospitals that will flag patients who may be at risk of dementia.
Our bodies change as we age – partly due to natural physiological aging and partly due to lifestyle choices. As early as our thirties, we begin to lose a small amount of muscle mass, and,...
Utilizing tau PET imaging, new research finds tau to be a more accurate indication for future neurodegeneration, highlighting its potential for precision medicine-based treatment approaches. Amyloid-β has long been the bane of every Alzheimer’s researcher. Often found in...
It’s never too late to start working on brain health. That said, the strategies for how to optimize your brain will vary depending on several aspects, not the least of which is...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.