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The application of serial MRI analysis techniques to the study of cerebral atrophy in late-onset dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sean Paling, Professor David Williams, Dr Robert Barber, Dr Emma Burton, Nigel Fox, Professor John O'Brien


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We have used a serial MR image analysis technique previously developed for studies of cerebral atrophy in early-onset dementia and applied it to a study of late-onset dementia patients with images acquired using a different scanner and scan sequence. Validation and optimisation tests showed that with only small changes to key analysis parameters the technique can successfully be applied to previously untested data with dissimilar image characteristics. The overall accuracy in estimation of cerebral atrophy using the technique was determined to be between 2 and 4 ml (1sigma) depending on the conditions during image acquisition. By comparing the results of alternative registration techniques we demonstrate the potential of using of fully automated 9 DOF image registration as an effective and efficient means of correcting for scanner pixel size variations, even in the presence of significant cerebral atrophy. Applied to the late-onset dementia study, patients were found to have significantly increased mean atrophy rates (p < 0.001) compared to controls. In general the analysis technique is shown to be a robust, accurate and transferable tool of potential value for future studies of dementia and related neuro-degenerative disorders. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Paling SM, Williams ED, Barber R, Burton EJ, Crum WR, Fox NC, O'Brien JT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medical Image Analysis

Year: 2004

Volume: 8

Issue: 1

Pages: 69-79

ISSN (print): 1361-8415

ISSN (electronic): 1361-8423

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/


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Funder referenceFunder name
G116/143Medical Research Council