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Curr Alzheimer Res. 2006 Dec;3(5):529-39.

Imaging the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

Historical progress in medicine can be charted along the lines of technical innovations that have visualized the invisible. One hundred years ago, Alois Alzheimer exploited newly developed histological stains to visualize his eponymonous disease in dead tissue under the microscope. Now, as we are entering the second century of Alzheimer's disease research, technical innovation has endowed us with a range of in vivo imaging techniques that promise to visualize Alzheimer' disease in living people. The earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease is characterized by cell-sickness, not cell-death, and can occur before the deposition of amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. In principle, 'functional' imaging techniques might be able to detect this early stage of the disease, a stage that was invisible to Alzheimer himself. Here, we will first define the neurobiological meaning of 'function' and then review the different approaches that measure brain dysfunction in Alzheimer' disease.

PMID:
17168652
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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