Radiologie Ottobrunn, München
Radiologie Ottobrunn - Die sanfte Diagnostik

Alzheimer Dementia Check Using Open High Field MRI

Age and Brain

With advancing age, every human being slowly loses brain matter.  This process is usually related to the shifting of strengths and weaknesses of mental capacity, without essential limitation.

Alzheimer Dementia

The restrictions are totally different in the case of a neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer disease, where massive loss occurs.  This is rooted in a substantially accelerated loss of brain matter, which can eventually lead to dementia.

On average a disease-related dementia arises in nearly every third person over 65. Among younger people, every thousandth person in the 45-to-65 age group is affected.

By the time shortcomings appear in the affected person, much of the brain mass has already been lost, since the brain can compensate for the loss for a long time. The Alzheimer-typical brain changes usually begin several years before the appearance of the first mild symptoms, such as mental disorder and mental deterioration.

Early Risk Assessment of Alzheimer Dementia

A precise measurement of brain matter provides early proof of the process of atypical age-related breakdown and thereby the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases before symptoms appear.  In case of a risk further differential diagnostic procedures through specialized neurologist or memory clinics are needed. This is particularly important, since early diagnosis affords  vital years of therapy, and preventive measures can reduce risks.


How will you be examined?

In the high field open MRI, high-definition magnetic resonance images of the head will be made in search of early warning signs. Since changes are minute, highly precise brain capacity measurements will be processed with accepted modern methods of computer-supported imaging and "BrainCheck Precision +".

Particularly convincing are the measurements of the brain capacity, when they are repeated at regular intervals. Through direct comparison with pre-examination results, even minute changes can be reliably shown.


How should I prepare for the examination?

The magnetic field created by the scanning device attracts all metals and objects containing metals, including prostheses, implants such as screws and plates, jewellery, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aids and coins. These items must be left in the change room. More recently produced prostheses and implants do not contain such metals and are therefore permissible.
Metal parts inside the body, which cannot be removed, such as metal splinters, could shift inside the patient and, depending on the location, may cause injury.
Red colours used in tattoos and permanent eyeliners could contain ferric oxide and may therefore heat up during the examination.
You may eat and drink normally before the examination. Patients who fear feelings of claustrophobia in the device may request a sedative. In such cases, the patient must be accompanied to ensure a safe journey home.


When can an MRI not be done?

Absolute contra-indications against an MRI examination are all electronic implants, e.g. pacemaker, neuro-stimulator (spinal or cerebral), subcutaneous implanted insulin pumps, Cochlea implants, older middle ear implants. (Teflon and gold implants are no problem.)
Extra caution is needed for metal clips and all types of artificial heart valves installed during operations. Under certain circumstances we require a copy of the surgical report, which contains a detailed description of the type of the implanted materials.
Early pregnancy (3 months) is usually a contra-indication.
Should you not qualify for an MRI, computer tomography would be available as an alternative in most cases.
We are at your disposal to deal with questions in this area.


How will the examination be done?

The x-ray technician positions the patient comfortably on the examination table, situating the area to be examined in a coil, which serves as a transmitter and receiver of radio waves.
The patient will be fitted with a headset to mitigate the noise created by the device, as well as an emergency ball placed in the hand, with which he or she can stop the examination instantly in case of an emergency. The patient and the x-ray technician can talk to each other by intercom at any time and the examination team always has full view of the patient.
The patient will be inserted into the examination device either feet or head first, depending on the area to be examined. A normal examination lasts about 20 minutes.
To strengthen the colour contrast between the blood vessels and the surrounding tissue,. a contrasting agent is occasionally injected into an arm vein during the examination.


Additional Information

Additional Information on Alzheimer Prevention can be found at