Magnetic resonance approaches to brain aging and Alzheimer disease-associated neuropathology

Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2005 Dec;16(6):439-52. doi: 10.1097/01.rmr.0000245458.05654.d0.


The noninvasive, nonradioactive, quantitative nature of magnetic resonance techniques has propelled them to the forefront of neuroscience and neuropsychiatric research. In particular, recent advances have confirmed their enormous potential in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD). Structural and functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging have demonstrated significant correlation with clinical outcomes and underlying pathology and are used increasingly in the AD clinic. This review will highlight the role of high-resolution structural MR imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging in the identification of atrophic and hemodynamic changes in AD and their potential as diagnostic biomarkers and surrogates of therapeutic response. Advanced MR techniques based on diffusion, perfusion, and neurochemical abnormalities in the aging brain will be presented briefly. These newer techniques continue to expand our understanding of neuropathology in the aging brain and are likely to play an important clinical role in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*