Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia and the third leading cause of death in the elderly in the United States. Currently, the diagnosis of AD relies upon clinical neurological assessment combined with conventional computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to exclude other potential etiologies for the patient's dementia. Recently, however, there has been a large volume of research in imaging tests for AD, most notably in the application of diffusion-based MRI. The development of imaging techniques for AD may provide important information for early diagnosis of the disease, for monitoring of disease progression, and for assessing response to therapies. This paper reviews the current imaging tests available for AD, from current clinical protocols to specialized examinations to research protocols, with special emphasis on diffusion tensor MRI.
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|Published - Jan 1 2005