AN OXFORD company has launched a new method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease from MRI scans.

Oxford Brain Diagnostics, a spin out from Oxford University, which is already working with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, will develop its technology with the aim of helping doctors catch the condition years earlier than is possible at the moment.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. Currently, diagnosis is possible only after symptoms such as memory loss occur. By this point changes to the brain have already taken place making treatments less effective.

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Oxford Brain Diagnostics' method will be based on software that uses algorithms created by the company to look at characteristics of the cerebral cortex of the brain from MRI scans.

Steven Chance, co-founder and chief executive at Oxford Brain Diagnostics, said: "We are very excited to make this technology available for real-world applications, helping others in the search for new effective drugs and to improve patients’ lives.”

Mark Jenkinson, co-founder and Professor of Neuroimaging, added: “I am really looking forward to pushing the boundaries of the science behind our technique and exploring how it can help in the treatment and management of Alzheimer’s Disease.”