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

Tuesday, Aug 14 2018

Hadassah Hospital Helps Educate Mikvah Attendants To Bolster Women’s Health

After a woman emerges from the ritual bath (mikveh) and wraps herself in a towel, says mikveh attendant Daniella Salomon, “I keep an eye out” for anything unusual.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Aug 7 2018

American Medical Attaché and Consulate Nurse Tour Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem

Jennifer Kmiecinski, Medical Attaché to the Consulate General of the United States in Israel, visited Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem earlier this month to assess the level of health care available to American personnel serving in Israel.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Aug 2 2018

Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis Enhanced at Hadassah Using Advanced Gene Sequencing

Hadassah Medical Organization researchers, using next generation sequencing (NGS), have identified a highly accurate RNA panel that distinguishes thyroid cancer from benign nodules.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Aug 2 2018

Two Hadassah Ophthalmology Articles Are Among Top 100 Most Cited in Four Decades

Two articles by Hadassah Medical Organization ophthalmologists are among the 100 most cited ophthalmology articles from 1975-2017. One is ranked 11th.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More