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The Role of MRI and PET/SPECT in Alzheimers Disease

[ Vol. 6 , Issue. 6 ]


Alexandre Coimbra, Donald S. Williams and Eric D. Hostetler   Pages 629 - 647 ( 19 )


Alzheimers disease (AD) is difficult to diagnose in its early stages, and even if detected early, there is no preventative treatment. Imaging modalities such as MRI, PET, and SPECT have the potential to contribute to both the diagnosis of Alzheimers disease, as well as assist in the search for more effective treatments. A number of AD-related biomarkers have been proposed and evaluated. The use of PET imaging to detect alterations in regional brain metabolism using [18F]FDG has enabled more sensitive and accurate early diagnosis of AD, especially in conjunction with traditional medical evaluation. Additionally, magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy provide a wide range of biomarkers that have been shown to correlate with the progression of AD. Some of these markers have been pursued in clinical trials. Progress has been made toward the evaluation of other more AD-specific biomarkers. However, many questions remain concerning the validity and sensitivity of these imaging biomarkers to aid in the assessment of potential new treatments, especially those related to increased levels of amyloid peptides in the brain.


Alzheimer's, imaging, biomarker, PET, SPECT, MRI, atrophy, amyloid


Department of ImagingResearch, Merck Research Labs, WP44C-2, West Point, PA 19486.

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