Westman neuroimaging group

imaging of brain with alzheimer

Our research is focused on 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).

Structural and functional neuroimaging play an important role in understanding the underlying mechanisms of different dementia disorders, potentially contributing to their management and diagnosis. We have a strong focus in different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as structural MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional MRI, 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) and computed tomography (CT).

We work with advanced tools to analysis neuroimaging data such as multivariate methods, machine learning and graph theory. Currently, a large part of the research within the group is focused on unraveling the heterogeneity in AD and to understand the substantial overlap between the different disorders. 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.




We have several collaborations within our own department (NVS), with other departments at KI and with other universities in Sweden (Uppsala, Lund, Gothenburg and KTH). We also have strong collaborations with several foreign universities such as the University of Eastern Finland, University of Perugia, University of Stavanger, LaLaguna in Spain, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and King's College London.

Research support

With special thanks to the following donors for the support they provide or earlier provided to our research:

  • The Swedish Research Council
  • The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Swedish Alzheimer Association
  • Swedish Brain Foundation
  • ALF
  • StatNeuro, KI
  • HMT
  • Åke Wibergs Stiftelse
  • Stiftelsen Olle Engkvist Byggmästare
  • Birgitta och Sten Westerberg

Selected publications

A signature pattern of cortical atrophy in dementia with Lewy bodies: A study on 333 patients from the European DLB consortium.
Oppedal K, Ferreira D, Cavallin L, Lemstra A, Ten Kate M, Padovani A, et al
Alzheimers Dement 2019 Mar;15(3):400-409

The contribution of small vessel disease to subtypes of Alzheimer's disease: a study on cerebrospinal fluid and imaging biomarkers.
Ferreira D, Shams S, Cavallin L, Viitanen M, Martola J, Granberg T, et al
Neurobiol. Aging 2018 Oct;70():18-29

The A/T/N biomarker scheme and patterns of brain atrophy assessed in mild cognitive impairment.
Ekman U, Ferreira D, Westman E
Sci Rep 2018 May;8(1):8431

Heterogeneous patterns of brain atrophy in Alzheimer's disease.
Poulakis K, Pereira JB, Mecocci P, Vellas B, Tsolaki M, Kłoszewska I, et al
Neurobiol. Aging 2018 05;65():98-108

Monitoring disease progression in mild cognitive impairment: Associations between atrophy patterns, cognition, APOE and amyloid.
Falahati F, Ferreira D, Muehlboeck JS, Eriksdotter M, Simmons A, Wahlund LO, et al
Neuroimage Clin 2017 ;16():418-428

Distinct subtypes of Alzheimer's disease based on patterns of brain atrophy: longitudinal trajectories and clinical applications.
Ferreira D, Verhagen C, Hernández-Cabrera JA, Cavallin L, Guo CJ, Ekman U, et al
Sci Rep 2017 04;7():46263

A 'Disease Severity Index' to identify individuals with Subjective Memory Decline who will progress to mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
Ferreira D, Falahati F, Linden C, Buckley RF, Ellis KA, Savage G, et al
Sci Rep 2017 03;7():44368

Disrupted Network Topology in Patients with Stable and Progressive Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease.
Pereira JB, Mijalkov M, Kakaei E, Mecocci P, Vellas B, Tsolaki M, et al
Cereb. Cortex 2016 08;26(8):3476-3493

Myo-inositol changes precede amyloid pathology and relate to APOE genotype in Alzheimer disease.
Voevodskaya O, Sundgren PC, Strandberg O, Zetterberg H, Minthon L, Blennow K, et al
Neurology 2016 May;86(19):1754-61

Practical cut-offs for visual rating scales of medial temporal, frontal and posterior atrophy in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment.
Ferreira D, Cavallin L, Larsson EM, Muehlboeck JS, Mecocci P, Vellas B, et al
J. Intern. Med. 2015 Sep;278(3):277-90