Scientists Found a Link between Low Dopamine and Alzheimer’s Disease
A new study from the United Kingdom shows a link between the loss of dopamine-firing cells in the brain and ability of the brain to form new memories. These findings may lead to a new method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s.
For the study, a team of researchers used a type of MRI scan which is called 3Tesla. It is twice stronger than standard MRI. They scanned the brains of 51 healthy adults, 30 patients with a mild cognitive impairment, and 29 with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Having analyzed the results of the scanning, the researchers concluded that there was a link between the size of two key brain areas – the ventral tegmental and hippocampus – and the ability of the patients to learn new information.
Lead study author Annalena Venneri, of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, explains: “The hippocampus is associated with forming new memories, therefore these findings are crucial to the early detection of Alzheimer's disease. The results point at a change which happens very early on, which might trigger Alzheimer's disease.”
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