Genetics and Imaging in Alzheimer’s Disease
The pathological changes that give rise to Alzheimer's disease (AD) begin years and potentially decades before disease onset. This is well demonstrated using a range of in vivo imaging tools including PET, structural MRI, and functional MRI. In particular, individuals with a genetic risk for AD show similar PET and MRI abnormalities as do Alzheimer's subjects, though to a lesser extent. Studying subjects with a genetic risk for AD prior to the onset of clinically significant memory loss adds to our understanding of the pathological processes leading to AD and may distinguish between those likely to develop the disease and those experiencing normal age-related brain changes. This chapter reviews the major genetic risk factors for AD and discusses the range of imaging abnormalities associated with genetic risk and early manifestations of AD.
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