Medical research is an ongoing, ever-challenging process, filled with endless peaks and valleys of success and failure.
When an experimental treatment proves ineffective, researchers must re-evaluate their methods and try something slightly different, or even start from scratch. On the other hand, when it’s successful, it’s big news in the medical community, and provides promise for people afflicted with the condition it’s aimed at treating.
Some medical advances will likely reach the market this year, while others will need more research over the coming years.
Here are a few medical breakthroughs that are likely to make headlines in 2013:
MRI may help diagnose dementia
Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) often present with similar symptoms, despite the underlying disease process being much different. Furthermore, diagnosis of both conditions can be difficult. Researchers have been experimenting with using MRIs to estimate the ratio of biomarkers for the two diseases to differentiate between Alzheimer’s and FTLD.