Magnetic resonance imaging studies have revealed distinct patterns of cortical atrophy and hypoperfusion in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The relationship between these in vivo imaging measures and the corresponding underlying pathophysiological changes, however, remains elusive. Recently, attention has turned to neuroimaging of mouse models of Alzheimer's disease in which imaging-pathological correlations can be readily performed. In this study, anatomical and arterial spin labeling perfusion magnetic resonance imaging scans of amyloid precursor protein transgenic and age-matched wild-type mice were acquired at 3, 12, and 18 months of age. Fully-automated image processing methods were used to derive quantitative measures of cortical thickness and perfusion. These studies revealed increased regional cortical thickness in young transgenic mice relative to age-matched wild-type mice. However, the transgenic mice generally demonstrated a greater rate of cortical thinning over 15 months. Cortical perfusion was significantly reduced in young transgenic mice in comparison with wild-type mice across most brain regions. Previously unreported regional genotype differences and age-related changes in cortical thickness and cerebral perfusion were identified in amyloid precursor protein transgenic and wild-type mice.
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