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Semin Neurol. 2008 Sep;28(4):467-83. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1083695. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Neuroimaging in dementia.

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1
Department of Neurology, UCSF Memory and Aging Center, University of California-San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Abstract

Although dementia is a clinical diagnosis, neuroimaging often is crucial for proper assessment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) may identify nondegenerative and potentially treatable causes of dementia. Recent neuroimaging advances, such as the Pittsburgh Compound-B (PIB) ligand for positron emission tomography imaging in Alzheimer's disease, will improve our ability to differentiate among the neurodegenerative dementias. High-resolution volumetric MRI has increased the capacity to identify the various forms of the frontotemporal lobar degeneration spectrum and some forms of parkinsonism or cerebellar neurodegenerative disorders, such as corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, and spinocerebellar ataxias. In many cases, the specific pattern of cortical and subcortical abnormalities on MRI has diagnostic utility. Finally, among the new MRI methods, diffusion-weighted MRI can help in the early diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Although only clinical assessment can lead to a diagnosis of dementia, neuroimaging is clearly an invaluable tool for the clinician in the differential diagnosis.

PMID:
18843575
PMCID:
PMC2647854
DOI:
10.1055/s-0028-1083695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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