chapter  6
22 Pages

Functional Imaging in Dementia

ByReisa Sperling, Keith Johnson

Although the diagnosis of dementia remains primarily clinically based, the past decade has yielded

important advances in adjunctive tests, particularly in the use of neuroimaging. Until recently,

neuroimaging was primarily used to exclude causes of dementia other than Alzheimer’s disease

(AD), such as cerebrovascular disease, and more rarely, tumor, subdural hematoma or normal

pressure hydrocephalus. Several neuroimaging techniques, however, have now shown promise in

making a more accurate, positive diagnosis of AD. This chapter will focus on functional

neuroimaging. Functional imaging techniques, particularly positron emission tomography (PET)

and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), have now been shown to improve

diagnostic accuracy in patients with AD. Recently, functional neuroimaging techniques have also

been used to predict subsequent diagnosis of AD prior to the onset of clinical dementia. Early,

accurate diagnosis of dementia will become increasingly important over the next decade, as

potential disease modifying therapies for AD become available.