Brain imaging in dementia

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The introduction of MRI and positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging has contributed significantly to the understanding of different dementia syndromes. Over the past 20 years these imaging techniques have been increasingly used for clinical characterisation and differential diagnosis, and to provide insight into the effects on functional capacity of the brain, patterns of spatial distribution of different dementia syndromes and their natural history and evolution over time. Brain imaging is also increasingly used in clinical trials, as part of inclusion criteria and/or as a surrogate outcome measure. Here we review all the relatively specific findings that can be identified with different MRI and PET techniques in each of the most frequent dementing disorders.

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