Structural and functional neuroimaging play an important role in understanding the underlying mechanisms of different dementia disorders, potentially contributing to their management and diagnosis. Our research at the division of Clinical Geriatrics is focused on the assessment of the most common forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), vascular dementia (VaD), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTD) and dementia in Parkinson’s disease (PDD).
We have a strong interest in different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as structural MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional MRI (task and resting state), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), arterial spin labeling (ASL) and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI). In addition to MRI, we work with other imaging modalities, such as positron emission tomography (PET) (amyloid and glucose) and computed tomography (CT). Currently we perform image analyses using several automated softwares (Freesurfer, FSL, SPM etc.) as well as in-house developed algorithms. We also have a strong tradition and extensive experience in manual outlining and visual assessment. Multivariate and machine learning techniques (support vector machines (SVM) and orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS)) are also used for analyzing large amounts of data from multimodal/multicenter studies.
We believe it is important to work with the latest neuroimaging techniques to obtain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the different diseases, to improve early diagnosis and differential diagnosis.
These methods need to be carefully validated in large research cohorts such as AddNeuroMed, ADNI and AIBL as well as in heterogeneous memory clinic cohorts and population based cohorts.
Eric Westman and Lars-Olof Wahlund