Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The aim of this study was to discuss the contribution of neuroimaging studies to our understanding of Alzheimer's disease. We now have the capability of measuring both tau and beta-amyloid (Aβ) proteins in the brain, which together with more traditional neuroimaging modalities, has led the field to focus on using neuroimaging to better characterize disease mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease.

Recent findings

Studies have utilized tau and Aβ PET, as well as [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose PET, and structural and functional MRI, to investigate the following topics: phenotypic variability in Alzheimer's disease , including how neuroimaging findings are related to clinical phenotype and age; multimodality analyses to investigate the relationships between different neuroimaging modalities and what that teaches us about disease mechanisms; disease staging by assessing neuroimaging changes in the very earliest phases of the disease in cognitively normal individuals and individuals carrying an autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease mutation; and influence of other comorbidities and proteins to the disease process.

Summary

The findings shed light on the role of tau and Aβ, as well as age and other comorbidities, in the neurodegenerative process in Alzheimer's disease. This knowledge will be crucial in the development of better disease biomarkers and targeted therapeutic approaches.

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