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Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2007

Device shown to detect brain diseases

August 23, 2007

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— A University of Minnesota scientist has discovered a way to detect Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and other brain disorders by using a device that tracks magnetic signals in the brain.

Although the research is still in its early stages, it could lead to a relatively quick and painless test for a wide range of conditions that affect the brain, experts say.

Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos and his research team used a technology known as MEG (magnetoencephalography) at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis to study people's brains as they stared at a point of light for 45 to 60 seconds.

In a study published Wednesday, they found that they were able to identify six types of disorders "with 100 percent accuracy."

They included patients with Alzheimer's, chronic alcoholism, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, Sjogren's syndrome (an autoimmune disease) and facial pain.

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