Reversing Dementia Symptoms in Patients with Chronic Brain Bleeding

image of brain scan

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Douglas Cook, Associate Professor, Neurosurgeon

Project Title: Reversing dementia in patients with chronic subdural hematomas

What is the issue?

Patients with dementia have difficulty with memory and may also experience confusion. The same symptoms are also common in people who have a brain bleed. There are no portable imaging technologies that can detect a brain bleed. Therefore, it is impossible to determine whether a patient’s symptoms are due to dementia or a brain bleed. Brain bleeds can be treated with surgery.

What did we do?

We tested a portable imaging device for detecting brain bleeds called the Hematoma Imager (NIRD-HI). Our goal was to see if we could identify brain bleeds in 49 patients with early and late stages of dementia. We planned to compare our results with results for computed tomography imaging, the gold standard for detecting suspected brain bleeds.

What did we find?

We experienced problems with the portable device. It detected brain bleeds 100 per cent of the time when we used it without warming it up first. We remodeled it to use fibre optic technology that was not sensitive to changes in temperature.