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, May 23 2017

First Ladies Melania Trump and Sara Netanyahu Visit Hadassah Hospital

Please share our pride in Hadassah Hospital, singled out by the Israeli government to showcase the nation’s top-quality medicine, top doctors, and innovative medical research. First Lady Melania Trump and First Lady Sara Netanyahu visited Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem on May 22...

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, May 10 2017

Hadassah’s Melanoma Maven Featured in Hadassah Magazine

Metastatic melanoma is typically fatal, but Hadassah Hospital’s Prof. Michal Lotem, a world-renowned, cutting-edge physician/scientist, is trailblazing new treatments that are being watched around the globe.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, May 1 2017

Hadassah Surgeon to Light Torch at Jerusalem Independence Day Ceremony

Meet Prof. Ahmed Eid of Hadassah Hospital, who will light the torch at Jerusalem's Independence Day Ceremony, in honor of the city’s doctors who tirelessly work to save lives and improve the quality of life of men, women and children.

READ MORE ›

Friday, Apr 28 2017

Surgeons Perform World’s First-Ever Dual Robotic Surgery
 at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital

The world’s first-of-its-kind dual robotic surgery was performed on April 23 at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, announced National President Ellen Hershkin of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA).

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