Neuroimaging is a mainstay in the differential diagnosis of patients with cognitive impairment. The often equivocal clinical pictures, the prognostic uncertainty of the earliest stages of mild cognitive impairment, and the subtle brain changes mean that neuroimaging techniques are of potentially great incremental diagnostic value. A number of methods, ranging from very simple subjective visual ratings to highly sophisticated computerised tools, have been developed, which allow rating of structural and functional brain changes. The choice of the method is not obvious, and current guidelines provide no indications on which tools should be preferred. In this paper, we give indications for tools with demonstrated accuracy for detecting regional atrophy, cerebrovascular disease, and regional brain function, and discuss these according to increasing technological complexity, ranging from those with high feasibility that can be used at the patient's bedside to highly technological ones that require trained personnel and specific hardware and software.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health