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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 21 (2009), Issue 1-2, Pages 13-19

A Comparative Analysis of Structural Brain MRI in the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

Jason Appel,1,4 Elizabeth Potter,1 Qian Shen,1,2 Gustavo Pantol,1,4 Maria T. Greig,1 David Loewenstein,1,3 and Ranjan Duara1,3,5,6

1Mount Sinai Medical Center, Wien Center, Miami Beach, FL, USA
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
3Departments of Medicine, University of Miami, Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
4Department of Radiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL, USA
5Johnnie B. Byrd, Sr. Alzheimer’s Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA
6Department of Neurology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Received 16 October 2009; Accepted 16 October 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dementia is a debilitating and life-altering disease which leads to both memory impairment and decline of normal executive functioning. While causes of dementia are numerous and varied, the leading cause among patients 60 years and older is Alzheimer’s disease. The gold standard for Alzheimer’s diagnosis remains histological identification of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles within the medial temporal lobe, more specifically the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. Although no definitive cure for Alzheimer's disease currently exists, there are treatments targeted at preserving cognition and memory while delaying continued loss of function. Alzheimer's disease exists along a spectrum of cognitive decline and is often preceded by Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Patients with MCI demonstrate memory loss and cognitive impairment while still continuing normal activities of daily living, and are considered to be at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's Dementia. Identifying patients with prodromal states of Alzheimer's dementia such as MCI may allow initiation of appropriate treatment planning and delay of cognitive decline. Therefore, the need for a non-invasive early biomarker for the detection of Alzheimer's disease has never been greater. Multiple neuroimaging methods utilizing visual rating scales, volumetric measurements, and automated methods have been developed to identify, quantify, and track anatomic sequelae of Alzheimer’s Disease.