Advances in strucutural and molecular neuroimaging in Alzheimer's disease
This article was originally published as: Ellis, K., Rowe, C., Szoeke, C., Villemagne, V., Ames, D., Chetelat, G., Martins, R. N., Masters, C., Fripp, J., Acosta, O., Raniga, P., Bourgeat, P., & Salvado, O. (2011). Advances in strucutural and molecular neuroimaging in Alzheimer's disease. Medical Journal of Australia, 94(194), S20-S23. Original article available here
Longer life expectancies lead to increases in the prevalence of age-associated illnesses. The number of Australians with dementia is predicted to rise, from 234 000 in 2009 to over 1 million by 2050, as a result of the increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. Early diagnosis of AD will become more important as disease-modifying therapies emerge within the next decade. Advances in molecular neuroimaging with amyloid-β-specific radioligands for positron emission tomography, aided by magnetic resonance imaging techniques, allow detection of AD years before symptoms of dementia develop. Longitudinal prospective studies, such as the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study of ageing, will determine the sensitivity and specificity of these analysis techniques for diagnosing AD and predicting cognitive decline.