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Future imaging in dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David BrooksORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Imaging haas made an immesnse contribution towards supporting the diagnosis of dementias, detecting preclinical and prodromal pathology and allowing disease progression to be objectively tracked. This has led to consensus guidelines for the use of imaging in dementias to be published and a future task will be to validate these guidelines. Additionally, there needs to be standardised approaches over the use of binary thresholds when assigning an abnormality status. Other medical unmet needs include the need for specific imaging markers of: (a) linear tau tangles, TDP-43 and alpha synuclein aggregates; (b) microglial phenotypes that throw light on the activity of these inflammatory cells; (c) activity of intracellular processes which normally act to clear misfolded proteins; (d) epigenetic activity which regulates gene expression. Future imaging studies are predicted to be active in all these areas. Finally, as safer and more effective immunotherapy and other protective strategies agaist the pathologies of dementias are developed and trialled, imaging will play a major future role in determining the efficacy of neuroprotective treatments and their mechanism of action to be examined.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brooks DJ

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Seminars in Nuclear Medicine

Year: 2021

Volume: 51

Issue: 3

Pages: 303-308

Print publication date: 01/05/2021

Online publication date: 20/12/2020

Acceptance date: 21/10/2020

ISSN (print): 0001-2998


DOI: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2020.12.001