FDG PET/MR Imaging in Major Neurocognitive Disorders

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2017;14(2):186-197. doi: 10.2174/1567205013666160620115130.


PET/MRI tomographs represent the latest development in hybrid molecular imaging, opening new perspectives for clinical and research applications and attracting a large interest among the medical community. This new hybrid modality is expected to play a pivotal role in a number of clinical applications and among these the assessment of neurodegenerative disorders. PET and MRI, acquired separately, are already the imaging biomarkers of choice for a comprehensive assessment of the changes occurring in dementias (major cognitive disorders) as well as in their prodromal phase. In this paper we review the current evidence on the use of integrated PET/MRI scanners to investigate patients with neurodegenerative conditions, and in particular major neurocognitive disorders. The number of studies performed is still limited and shows that the use of PET/MRI gives results overall comparable to PET/CT and MRI acquired independently. We also address the challenges for quantitative aspects in PET/MRI, namely attenuation, partial volume and motion correction and the use of semi-quantitative approaches for FDG PET image analysis in this framework. The recent development of PET tracers for the in vivo differential diagnosis of dementias, able to visualize amyloid and tau deposits, suggests that in the future PET/MRI might represent the investigation of choice for a single session evaluation of morphological, functional and molecular markers.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / metabolism
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18