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Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2003 Nov;13(4):769-80.

Imaging Alzheimer's disease: clinical applications.

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Departments of Radiology and Bioengineering, University of Washington, 1959 North East Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195-6004, USA.


Extensive PET imaging research on AD has been conducted since PET scanners became available in the early 1980s. PET imaging using FDG, now commercially available, can detect early metabolic changes in AD and differential metabolic features of various dementing disorders. Image analysis techniques have also advanced in the field of functional brain imaging and permit accurate and consistent scan interpretation. PET studies that involve autopsy-confirmed cases suggest that the PET diagnosis of AD is no worse or may even be better than clinical diagnosis. Limited prospective studies demonstrated the effects of PET imaging in dementia management, which precludes the approval of FDG PET for more widespread, reimbursable use. Further evidence for the efficacy of PET imaging through well-organized clinical studies, as well as continuing efforts in technologic development and basic research to characterize functional alterations in dementing disorders in living patients, are equally important to achieve the goal of better dementia care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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