Hadassah

Hadassah Brain Mapping Has Important Implications for Early Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Monday, Aug 24 2015

Dr. Arzy’s team recorded the brain function of 16 individuals, who compared their subjective distance to different places, events, and people.

Using an innovative brain mapping technique, the Hadassah Medical Organization’s neuropsychiatry specialists have identified a cognitive process that has important implications for understanding the disorientation experienced by Alzheimer’s patients.

HMO’s findings have been published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS).

Using high-resolution functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the  neuroscientists, led by Dr. Shahar Arzy, Director of Hadassah’s Computational Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, discovered that the human brain has a highly ordered dedicated system that manages “orientation”--the brain function that enables us to know where we are in time and space and social relationship. It is this orientation system that allows an individual to form an internal representation of his external world.

HMO’s researchers also discovered that this orientation system overlaps another system called the “default mode network,” which is involved with processing the individuals’ sense of self in relation to time, space, and other people.

”We hypothesized that Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder of orientation,” relates Dr. Arzy, “where people lose their way on the cognitive maps of memory, places, and later  people. Moreover, the default mode network, overlapping with the orientation system, is known to be the network which is disturbed in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Arzy’s team recorded the brain function of 16 individuals, who compared their subjective distance to different places, events, and people. When the researchers analyzed the results, they saw that a local set of structures within the brain were activated that were related to orientation in space, time, and person. A particular pattern of activity was triggered in each person’s brain. The activations were near one another and partially overlapping, illustrating the links among a person’s orientations in space, time, and social relations.  At the same time, this activity overlapped with the brain’s default mode network.

Dr. Arzy reports that his team is now working to develop new computational tests and functional neuroimaging examinations to establish a very early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, Dr. Arzy notes, there is no exact understanding of the core pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. No one has been able to elucidate the neurocognitive mechanism that underpins the variable functional loss that affects people with this disease. Consequently, he says, “by the time we neurologists diagnose the disease, it’s too late to treat effectively. He concludes, however, that “our efforts will enable us to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease much earlier in the process and then be able to begin treating it effectively.”

Comments

From: Joy Parks on September 4, 2015
A giant step towards the diagnosing of early Alzheimer's
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Dec 7 2016

Saturday Night Lively: Hadassah Israel Fundraiser Wows Largely Orthodox Audience of 1200

Hadassah International Israel (HII) drew over 1200 men and women to a concert at Tel Aviv University, targeting the funds raised for renovation of the rehabilitation facilities at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Dec 5 2016

Celebrated Israeli Psychiatrist/Neurobiologist To Join Hadassah Medical Staff

Prof. Yoram Yovell, renowned Israeli psychiatrist and neurobiologist, will soon be joining the Hadassah Medical Organization’s “brain medicine branch,” which includes the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and neurosurgery and is under the direction of Prof. Tamir Ben-Hur.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Nov 30 2016

Hadassah Teams Up with Spinal Cord Institute to Study Outcomes of Traumatic Injuries

The medical interventions and outcomes for Israelis with a spinal cord injury (SCI) will now be captured in the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR), thanks to the November 16th launch of a partnership between the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization named after the paralympic athlete who suffered a severe spinal cord injury following a car accident.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

Ethiopian Pre-Nursing Students: On the Way to Fulfilling a Dream

“I know that some people are fine with looking at a screen all day, but I know I need the human touch--to work with people. I want to be a nurse, " relates Sarah Talala, one of the 18 students of Ethiopian background who were given the opportunity to take a course which enabled them to advance to pre-academic studies at the Hebrew University and then on to nursing school at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Henrietta Szold School of Nursing.

READ MORE ›

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Show More