Go to contents

Brain mapping of Koreans expected to expedite dementia diagnosis

Brain mapping of Koreans expected to expedite dementia diagnosis

Posted June. 05, 2017 07:16,   

Updated June. 05, 2017 07:34


A dementia diagnosis and prediction technology was invented for the first time in Korea, and is expected to come up with figures for the likelihood of dementia among Koreans who will for the first time reach over ten percent of Alzheimer's among 65 and over.

On June 4, a government-funded research team on developing technologies for early detection of dementia at Chosun University announced that "we have succeeded in developing a technology which can detect possible occurrence of dementia in advance through gene test and brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) based on the characteristics of genes and brain structure of Koreans."

After three years of research since July 2014, the team completed building the "Standard map of Koreans' brains," which was one of the keys to develop its dementia early detection technology. Based on the brain MRI of around one thousand male and female over the age of 65, the brain map was drawn with close measurement of how each brain parts have deformed per age.

The new technology allows doctors to avoid subjective judgments, and will evolve into a program which can compare and analyze between the brain images of the subject and the sample brain map per age for a more accurate outcome. Once distributed to front-line medical service providers, a ubiquitous dementia detection service will be available.

The team also told that the APOE4 gene - internationally known to induce dementia - was confirmed to raise the occurrence of dementia by fivefolds to Koreans.

Through the new gene test, the team expects to reduce at least 30 percent of Alzheimer's patients, and save more than 10 trillion won a year for social costs when they categorize dementia risks groups, which hold APOE4 genes, and run phasal examinations through blood tests and brain MRIs.

Dong-Young Lee argus@donga.com