Alzheimer's disease (AD) depicts dynamic changes in regional brain function from early stages of the disease. Arterial spin labeling- (ASL-) based MRI methods have been applied for detecting regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) perfusion changes in patients with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Nevertheless, the results obtained from ASL studies in AD and MCI are still controversial, since rCBF maps may show both hypoperfusion or hyperperfusion areas in brain structures involved in different cognitive functions. The goal of this review is to provide the current state of the art regarding the role of ASL for detecting distinctive perfusion patterns in subjects with MCI and/or AD. The ability to obtain this information using a noninvasive and widely available modality such as ASL should greatly enhance the knowledge into the broad range of hemodynamically related changes taking place during the cognitive decline process in AD.