Neurodegenerative dementias: From MR Physics lab to assessment room

S. D. Bruno, M. Cercignani, C. A M Wheeler-Kingshott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Theimpact of neuroimaging on the study and understanding of dementing illnesses has been enormous. Here we review the main MR structural technical developments applied to Alzheimer’s disease and fronto-temporal dementia, two forms of neurodegenerative disorders that have a number of similarities but also several differences. The possibility of detecting increasingly subtle brain changes, together with the need of handling larger and larger data sets, keeping up with the ever expanding aging population, are perhaps the main driving forces behind recent MR technique developments in the field of dementia. The measurement of atrophy is now integrated by more advanced approaches, investigating the alterations of the architecture of brain tissues beyond pure volumetric loss. Brain connectivity is now studied in vivo with techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging and tractography. Also, automated methods of subject classification open up new possibilities of rapid and cost-effective diagnosis. The inter-disciplinary efforts are changing the clinical scenario of dementia care from one of helpless defeat to one of promising innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
JournalEuropean Physical Journal Plus
Volume127
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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