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PET, MRI show brain changes in MCI patients before dementia diagnosis

Researchers who used PET scans, as well as functional and structural MRI, found that individuals with mild cognitive impairment and memory problems, or in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, had an average 13.6 times faster rate of default mode network connection decline annually, as well as a three times slower annual increase in the rate of executive control network interactions, compared with those with MCI and small blood vessel damage in the brain, or in the early vascular dementia stages. The findings in Neurology suggest the possible use of such brain network connection changes in the early monitoring of Alzheimer's and cerebrovascular disease changes, but more studies are still needed, said researcher Dr. Sang Won Seo.

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