Newer MRIs May Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Before Any Symptoms Interview with:

Cyrus A. Raji, MD PhD Asst Prof of Radiology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology Neuroradiology Faculty and the Neuoimaging Laboratories  Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis

Dr. Raji

Cyrus A. Raji, MD PhD
Asst Prof of Radiology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Neuroradiology Faculty and the Neuoimaging Laboratories
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and every patient suspected of having this disorder receives an MRI scan of the brain.

MRI scans of the brain in dementia are currently limited to evaluating for structural lesions that could be leading to memory loss such as stroke or tumor. What this study sought to accomplish was to determine if a newer type of MRI scan called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can predict who will experience cognitive decline and dementia. We found that DTI can predict persons who will demented 2.6 years before the earliest onset of symptoms.

This study was done in 61 individuals, 30 converters and 31 non-converters, from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and we found that DTI metrics could predict dementia 2.6 years later with 89-95% accuracy. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should understand that MRI is now evolving with advanced techniques that will eventually allow for quantitative measurement for specific numbers in white matter, as in the case of this study, and gray matter that will allow for better prediction of Alzheimer’s disease while new treatments and preventive measures such as lifestyle modification can be applied. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We need larger studies that can allow for the development of tools can allow for personalized prediction on an individual patient level of Alzheimer’s risk. This innovation will be an improvement over the current study design that relies on group comparisons.

I have no relevant financial disclosures for this study.  


Raji,C, Tanabe,J, Update on Imaging in Dementia. Radiological Society of North America 2018 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, November 25 – November 30, 2018, Chicago IL. Accessed November 29, 2018


Nov 29, 2018 @ 12:32 pm




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