Scientists using a powerful imaging analysis technique have created the first three-dimensional video maps showing how Alzheimer's disease damages the brains of sufferers.
The neuroscientists, from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Queensland in Australia, created time-lapse videos using an SGI Onyx family visualisation system, starting with enormous data sets that were assembled on a 64-processor SGI Origin 3000 server at UCLA.
The UCLA analysis technique, which detects very fine changes in magnetic resonance imaging brain scans, offers doctors and researchers a powerful tool that can speed diagnosis, intervention, and development of new therapies.
"For the first time, you can see Alzheimer's disease progressing in living patients," said Paul Thompson, an assistant professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study's chief investigator.
Use of the SGI Origin server enables the research team to examine results from scan computations after an overnight computer run, compared with a run of up to 10 weeks on previous technology.
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