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Neurology Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 719056, 10 pages
Review Article

Understanding the Pathophysiology of Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Mini Review on fMRI and ERP Studies

1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurological Institute, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
2Department of Neurology, Minkodo Minohara Hospital, 3553 Kanaide, Sasaguri-machi, Kasuya-gun, Fukuoka 811-2402, Japan
3Department of Radiology, Hiroshima City General Rehabilitation Center, 1-39-1 Tomo-minami, Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima 731-3168, Japan
4Department of Neurology, Hiroshima City General Rehabilitation Center, 1-39-1 Tomo-minami, Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima 731-3168, Japan
5Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hiroshima International University, 555-36 Gakuenndai, Kurose, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima 739-2695, Japan

Received 15 March 2011; Revised 11 May 2011; Accepted 15 May 2011

Academic Editor: Antonio Cerasa

Copyright © 2012 Takao Yamasaki et al. 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.


The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is predicted to increase rapidly in the coming decade, highlighting the importance of early detection and intervention in patients with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Recently, remarkable advances have been made in the application of neuroimaging techniques in investigations of AD and MCI. Among the various neuroimaging techniques, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has many potential advantages, noninvasively detecting alterations in brain function that may be present very early in the course of AD and MCI. In this paper, we first review task-related and resting-state fMRI studies on AD and MCI. We then present our recent fMRI studies with additional event-related potential (ERP) experiments during a motion perception task in MCI. Our results indicate that fMRI, especially when combined with ERP recording, can be useful for detecting spatiotemporal functional changes in AD and MCI patients.