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Health Discoveries: Shining a Light On Alzheimer's

Scientists are shedding light—literally—on a new way to detect Alzheimer's disease. They have found that near-infrared light, which can’t be seen by the human eye, can pass easily and harmlessly through the skull and brain to pinpoint the plaques and tangles that are signs of Alzheimer’s.

The method, now being tested in clinical trials, would be a major advance in detecting the disease earlier, when the chances of slowing its progress are better.

The research, conducted by Eugene Hanlon of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who led a team from Harvard Medical School and Boston University, was reported in Optics Letters March 15.


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