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J Neurol Sci. 2007 Jun 15;257(1-2):105-13. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

High b-value diffusion imaging of dementia: application to vascular dementia and alzheimer disease.

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School of Chemistry, The Sackler Faulty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Vascular Dementia (VaD) are the most common types of dementia and are progressive diseases affecting millions of people. Despite the high sensitivity of MRI to neurological disorders it has not thus far been found to be specific for the detection of either of these pathologies. In the present study high b-value q-space diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) was applied to VaD and AD. Controls (N=4), VaD patients (N=8) and AD patients (N=6) were scanned with high b-value DWI, which emphasizes the water component which exhibits restricted diffusion. VaD patients were found to present major WM loss while, in AD, the major pathology found was GM changes, as expected. Also, WM changes in VaD and AD were of a different pattern, more specific to frontal and temporal areas in AD and more widespread in VaD. This pattern of WM changes may be utilized as a diagnosis criterion. Conventional diffusion tensor imaging did not show significant changes between either of the groups and controls. These results demonstrate the potential of high b-value DWI in the diagnosis of dementia.

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