Chapter 6

Neuroimaging in Alzheimer’s Disease

L. Díaz Rubia and J. García Verdejo

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurological degenerative disease that causes a progressive cognitive deterioration, being the main cause of dementia in elderly people at present. The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can be made with great precision through the use of clinical, neuropsychological and imaging evaluations, being of vital importance an early diagnosis to establish a treatment that improves the prognosis in these patients. From the neuroimaging point of view, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) is recommended for the routine assessment of AD. MRI sequences in the coronal plane assess entorhinal and hippocampal cortical atrophy, typical at the onset of the disease. MRI volumetric sequences and subtraction are used in the evaluation of the progression of dementia. Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are used to evaluate the prognosis of patients and in the differential diagnosis with other dementias. PET also serves to assess small visible alterations in very early stages, asymptomatic inclusions of the disease and in patients with predisposing genes to suffer AD.

Total Pages: 83-97 (15)

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