Two brain images. Left is a healthy patient, right is suffering Alzheimer's Disease.

Typical brain images of 70 year-old subjects: a healthy subject (left) and a patient with Alzheimer's. The colour codes the thickness of the cortex (the more blue, the thinner).

Mapping the mind: MRI used in fight against Alzheimer’s

Sophisticated bio-imaging techniques being developed by CSIRO may spot abnormalities in the brain function of people with early Alzheimer's disease well before symptoms appear. (6:20)

  • 11 November 2010

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Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Computerised enhancement and analysis of three-dimensional Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain images is showing promise as an early diagnostic tool.

The technique gives clinicians a powerful new procedure with improved reliability and accuracy for detecting the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, compared with manual image analysis.

In this podcast, Dr Olivier Salvado explains the changes within the brain that may indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and the techniques being developed to accurately map the disease in its early stages.

Read more about Alzheimer's Disease: image processing for early diagnosis.