Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition. Watching your loved one suffer from this illness can be heartbreaking; especially when you can’t see what is going on inside their brain. But what if there was a way to look deep inside our bodies, and visualize more than just bones and other structures? What if we could actually see processes at a cellular level including inflammation and oxidative stress? Want to find out more about oxidative stress click here to read more.
Well, actually we can… experimentally. But recent advances in this field suggest it may soon become routine as outlined in the Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology.
Scientists have developed several different types of contrast media (substances that improve the visibility of internal structures during imaging) that specifically concentrate in areas where there is inflammation. Numerous studies already show that when used with existing MRI, PET, or SPECT scans; these agents identify more and smaller active lesions. This allows more effective monitoring of disease progression and response to treatments. There is even the potential that they would be able to detect early changes before symptoms are even apparent.
This is a breakthrough for conditions where treatment is usually more successful when diseases are identified early.
- MRI = Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- PET = Positron Emission Tomography
- SPECT = Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography
Pulli B, Chen JW. Imaging Neuroinflammation – from Bench to Bedside. J Clin Cell Immunol. J Clin Cell Immunol. 2014; 5: 226. doi: 10.4172/2155-9899.1000226