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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2017, Article ID 5479597, 10 pages
Review Article

Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease Measured with Arterial Spin Labeling Magnetic Resonance Imaging

1Department of Neurology, Barcelona Medicine and Surgery Institute (IMECBA), Barcelona, Spain
2Alzheimer Disease Research Unit, CIEN Foundation, Queen Sofia Foundation Alzheimer Center, Madrid, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Alba Sierra-Marcos; se.anolecrabaigoloruen@arreisa

Received 16 January 2017; Revised 16 February 2017; Accepted 22 February 2017; Published 1 March 2017

Academic Editor: Francesco Panza

Copyright © 2017 Alba Sierra-Marcos. 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.


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.