Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting millions of people worldwide. There is no cure but recent advances in brain scanning techniques may result in better diagnosis, so that symptoms can be treated more effectively and the quality of patients’ lives improved. In experiments on mice, genetically modified to develop a condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease, innovative methods of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) made it possible to detect microscopic bleeds and changes in water retention in brain tissue. These are warning signs of more serious brain malfunctions caused by the formation of plaques, pictured here in sections of brain from the mice. As the brain ages (top to bottom), light plaques, stained red, and then heavier plaques, yellow, can be seen forming around the healthy brain tissue, blue.
Written by Mick Warwicker
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.