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The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Date: Jul 20, 1999
Start Page: Z.05

Researchers at New York Presbyterian Hospital have defined two distinct patterns of memory loss in the elderly that could help lead to a new test for Alzheimer's disease.

"The hippocampus is the first brain structure to be targeted by Alzheimer's disease," said Scott A. Small, clinical assistant neurologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital and author of the study. Detection of changes in this area of the brain could provide early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Results of the study suggest that fMRI could play a role one day as a screening tool for Alzheimer's disease, which would lead to earlier intervention. It could also provide "reassurance for patients with non-Alzheimer's disease-related pattern that their memory decline is not associated with that disease," Small said.

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