The role of imaging technologies in dementia research is rapidly expanding. An imperative for noninvasive tools with early diagnostic capability - prior to the development of clinical signs/symptoms of dementia - has resulted from the development of effective forms of pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapy for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neuroimaging data, especially when combined with clinical, neuropsychological, and genetic information may be uniquely useful for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring, as well as guiding further drug discovery. The Neuroimaging Core (Core F) will continue to support structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in ADRC participants and provide the infrastructure for developing state-of-the-art MRI and functional MRI (fMRI) in aging and dementia. The Core will further assist in the expansion of the role of positron emission tomography (PET) studies of aging and dementia by focusing on the recent development of Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), a marker for brain beta-amyloid deposition. The Core has implemented and maintained efficient procedures for acquiring, archiving, and interpreting MRI examinations performed as part of the ADRC patient evaluation. The Neuroimaging Core is accruing similar MRI examinations in healthy elderly comparison subjects, as emphasized by our external advisors, and we have further established a normative database of structural MRI data that is available to ADRC and related investigators. During the next five years, the Neuroimaging Core will continue to develop and distribute technology for acquiring and interpreting structural and functional image data in support of AD research. The Core will advance the overall goals of the Center by supporting and promoting research that increases our understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of AD and to facilitate new therapies and therapeutic monitoring.
The ability to visualize the brain of a living person is critical for the accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. This Core is responsible for obtaining such images using stae-of-the-art technologies, and for maintaining a library of the images. We will also work with the other scientists at the ADRC to help them develop new ways to analyse these images, which will help them complete their studies of aging and dementia.
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