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Brain Deactivation May Be MRI Marker of Early Alzheimer's

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Sept. 25 -- A sensitive sign of the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may be dampening of activity in the posteromedial cortices during a memory task, as seen by functional MRI, investigators here suggested.

In a study comparing functional MRI scans of healthy volunteers with those of patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease, the degree of activation of the posteromedial cortices correlated significantly with scores on a verbal learning test, reported Jeffrey R. Petrella, M.D., of Duke, and colleagues.

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