A pilot clinical trial to identify whether brain scans could be used to identify early stages of Alzheimer's disease has been initiated at Maudsley Hospital in South London, UK.

In the trial, doctors are using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to analyse if particular parts of the brain have started to shrink, which is key sign of Alzheimer’s.

The trial will be evaluated for a year, and if successful, the test could be implemented in the NHS.

To develop the test, researchers compared brain scans of 600 people with Alzheimer’s and 600 without, and developed a computer programme which could differentiate between the two with 85% accuracy.

The test can give results within 24 hours and can provide early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.