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J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(4):1125-1137. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180317.

Postmortem T2*- Weighted MRI Imaging of Cortical Iron Reflects Severity of Alzheimer's Disease.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
3
Percuros BV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Statistics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The value of iron-based MRI changes for the diagnosis and staging of Alzheimer's disease (AD) depends on an association between cortical iron accumulation and AD pathology. Therefore, this study determined the cortical distribution pattern of MRI contrast changes in cortical regions selected based on the known distribution pattern of tau pathology and investigated whether MRI contrast changes reflect the underlying AD pathology in the different lobes. T2*-weighted MRI was performed on postmortem cortical tissue of controls, late-onset AD (LOAD), and early-onset AD (EOAD) followed by histology and correlation analyses. Combining ex vivo high-resolution MRI and histopathology revealed that: 1) LOAD and EOAD have a different distribution pattern of AD pathological hallmarks and MRI contrast changes over the cortex, with EOAD showing more severe MRI changes; 2) per lobe, severity of AD pathological hallmarks correlates with iron accumulation, and hence with MRI. Therefore, iron-sensitive MRI sequences allow detection of the cortical distribution pattern of AD pathology ex vivo.

KEYWORDS:

Amyloid; cortex; iron; magnetic resonance imaging; tau

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