Alzheimer’s Disease: Structural, Functional, and Molecular Imaging

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Ever since German physician Alois Alzheimer came across this perplexing disease in 1906, later named after the physician, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is still a mystery today (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). Over the past century, numerous scientists and inventors have been devoted to finding a cure for this disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). A promising area of research in radiologic neuroimaging procedures may have the potential to be the key to unlocking this mystery. These radiologic neuroimaging procedures can be further divided into structural, functional, and molecular imaging. In regards to structural imaging, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been proven to be the top line research tools used in this ongoing research process. Functional MRI (fMRI) and fluoro-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) analyze cell activities in functional imaging. Lastly, molecular imaging utilizes PET and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to follow the course of radioactive tracers to discover chemical changes of the brain in relation to AD. The ability to identify AD through radiographic neuroimaging procedures, monitor it through its progression, and understand the alterations of the brain’s structures are some of the monumental research achievements. Each study performed adds more promising information on how to combat this disease.
Nebraska Society of Radiologic Technologists Annual Conference 2018
Alzheimer's, Molecular Imaging