An MRI-based Semiquantitative Index for the Evaluation of Brain Atrophy and Lesions in Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Normal Aging

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2010;30(2):121-30. doi: 10.1159/000319537. Epub 2010 Aug 21.


Background: This study investigates how T(1)-weighted MRI can be used to evaluate brain anatomical changes. We investigated these changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and normal aging.

Methods: A semiquantitative brain atrophy and lesion index (BALI) was constructed by adapting existing visual rating scales and validated in 3 datasets.

Results: The T(1)- and T(2)-weighted-imaging-based scores were highly correlated. They were both closely associated with age and with cognitive test scores.

Conclusion: The T(1)-based BALI helps describe brain structural variability in AD, mild cognitive impairment and normal aging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Atrophy* / diagnosis
  • Atrophy* / epidemiology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards*
  • Male
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnosis
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Weights and Measures / instrumentation
  • Weights and Measures / standards