AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Is It Alzheimer’s Disease or Another Dementia? New, Non-Invasive Method May Help with Diagnosis

A new method may help determine whether a person has Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia, two different types of dementia that often have similar symptoms.

“Making the correct diagnosis can be difficult,” said study author Barbara Borroni, MD, of the University of Brescia in Brescia, Italy. “Current methods can be expensive brain scans or invasive lumbar punctures involving a needle inserted in the spine, so it’s exciting that we may be able to make the diagnosis quickly and easily with this non-invasive procedure.”

For the technique, called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a large electromagnetic coil is placed against the scalp. It creates electrical currents that stimulate nerve cells.

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