Advancements in technology have made it easier for practitioners to diagnose diseases that were previously tough to predict and sometimes would go undetected. A study found that advanced MRI brain scan analysis in patients with stroke related diseases can help predict cognitive problems and even Dementia. The study evaluated the new MRI analysis technique that uses diffusion tenor imaging, in predicting memory problems and dementia related to small vessel disease. A single scan processes the brain in fine detail to find damaged areas. By comparing these areas to a healthy person, researchers were able to classify the brain into healthy and damaged tissue. The research concluded that patients with high levels of brain damage were more likely to develop memory problems. The analysis also predicted 3/4 of the Dementia cases that occurred during the study.
The study conducted included a total of 99 patients with small vessel disease caused by ischemic stroke- a type of stroke that blocks blood vessels deep within the brain. Of the people studied, 1/3 of them were Female and the average age was over 68, with the majority being Caucasian. The patients underwent MRI scans annually for 3 years and partook in memory tests for a five year period. Eighteen patients were diagnosed with Dementia in that time with the average time for onset around 3 years and 4 months.
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