US Pharm
. 2015;40(4):7.

Los Angeles, CA—An international consortium led by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has validated the first standardized protocol for measuring one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease—the atrophy of the brain’s hippocampus. The Harmonized Protocol for Hippocampal Segmentation (HarP) is a unified and reliable approach to assessing signs of Alzheimer’s-related neurodegeneration through the use of structural MRI scans. After applying the HarP protocol, brain scans were analyzed for two changes that signify the disease: a buildup of amyloid tau protein and loss of neurons. The team found a significant correlation between hippocampal volume and the Alzheimer’s disease indicators. This technique can be used immediately in research settings such as clinical trials, with a goal of eventual widespread use in physician’s offices and other patient care settings.

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