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Early detection of Alzheimer's funded

Wednesday, 04 August 2010

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The State Government has contributed more than two million dollars towards a study into the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

The McCusker Foundation is trying to identify markers in the brain which indicate the presence of the disease.

The Minister for Science and Innovation, Bill Marmion, says the funding will enable the foundation to test more than a thousand patients at risk of developing Alzheimer's.

"They inject a special tracer agent and the brain can be imaged, and they can do a scan of the brain and look at how this scan compares to a healthy brain and that gives them an early identifier as to whether the onset of Alzheimer's is happening," he said.

"An early diagnosis will enable people at risk of developing the disease to make informed decisions to modify perhaps their lifestyle and improve their situation while, perhaps, better treatments are developed."

Professor Ralph Martins told that the money will be used in a four year project that will scan the brains of 1100 patients who are either at risk of developing the disease or already have it.

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