Anatomic and Molecular Imaging of Dementia

A presentation of the multiple imaging modalities that are essential in the multidisciplinary management of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Course ID: Q00622 Category:
Modalities: , , ,


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Targeted CE per ARRT’s Discipline, Category, and Subcategory classification:
[Note: Discipline-specific Targeted CE credits may be less than the total Category A credits approved for this course.]

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 1.00
Procedures: 1.00
Neurological: 1.00

Nuclear Medicine Technology: 2.00
Procedures: 2.00
Other Imaging Procedures: 2.00

Registered Radiologist Assistant: 0.75
Procedures: 0.75
Neurological, Vascular, and Lymphatic Sections: 0.75


  1. Introduction
  2. Structural Imaging
  3. Molecular Imaging
    1. FDG PET
    2. Amyloid-β PET
    3. 123I-Ioflupane SPECT
    4. τ-based PET
  4. Computer-Assisted Quantitative Evaluation
  5. Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases
  6. Alzheimer Disease
  7. Dementia with Lewy Bodies
  8. Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration
  9. Vascular Dementia
  10. Other Dementing Disorders
  11. Patient Workup, Algorithm, and Recommendations
  12. Conclusion


Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. know how definitive objective diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease can currently be made
  2. identify the traditional role of neuroimaging in dementia
  3. be familiar with the various areas of the brain that are important to evaluate during structural imaging assessment
  4. be familiar with the reasons for using the various MRI sequences for evaluating patients with suspected dementia
  5. know the usefulness of FDG PET for brain imaging
  6. know SNMMI recommendations for 18F-FDG use for neurologic PET imaging
  7. be familiar with the location and orientation of the recommended T2-weighted MR images for the assessment of the visual rating system for mesial temporal atrophy scoring
  8. know the area of the brain that, when spared, is a classic finding of Alzheimer disease
  9. know the various radiopharmaceuticals used in beta-amyloid PET imaging and their trade names
  10. know the area of the brain that is typically used as an internal control for uptake comparison when evaluating cortical uptake of beta-amyloid PET agents
  11. be familiar with the SNMMI recommendations for 18F-amyloid PET imaging and its multiple radiopharmaceutical options
  12. know the target radiopharmaceutical of dopamine transporter which allows visualization of the active synapses in the corpus striatum
  13. understand the cause and appearance of DaTScan in SPECT imaging of patients with parkinsonian diseases
  14. understand the potential effect of 123I-ioflupane on the thyroid gland and what can be done to alleviate these concerns
  15. be familiar with some aspects of t-based PET radiopharmaceuticals
  16. know the type(s) of abnormal t protein accumulated by diseases that demonstrate the most radiotracer accumulation
  17. know how quantitative measurements can currently be performed for neurologic PET studies, even though extensive data required to standardize uptake values in neurologic PET imaging does not yet exist
  18. know the relative quantitative value that reflects the number of standard deviations of abnormal uptake from that of a normal distribution of uptake
  19. be familiar with the neurodegenerative diseases of the tauopathies category
  20. understand the pros and cons of utilizing beta-amyloid PET imaging in the evaluation of a patient for Alzheimer disease
  21. know the entities that make up the alpha-synucleinophathy subgroup of neurodegenerative diseases
  22. be familiar with how imaging of alpha-synucleinopathies can currently be performed clinically
  23. know how Alzheimer disease is characterized histopathologically
  24. be familiar with the t protein deposition in the various stages of the Braak staging system
  25. be familiar with the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer disease diagnosis
  26. be familiar with the pattern of atrophic changes in Alzheimer disease on structural MRI
  27. know the typical areas of hypometabolic activity in Alzheimer disease at 18F-FDG PET imaging
  28. understand the value of negative amyloid imaging agent uptake on the assessment for Alzheimer disease
  29. understand the progression of Lewy bodies according to the Braak staging system for Lewy body aggregation
  30. understand the differences between the progression of clinical symptoms among the various neurodegenerative diseases
  31. know how to differentiate DLB from Alzheimer disease at 18F-FDG PET imaging
  32. be familiar with the grouping of similar tauopathies described by the term “frontotemporal lobar degeneration”
  33. know how to differentiate FTLDs from DLB and Alzheimer disease at 18F-FDG PET imaging
  34. be familiar with the typical vascular insults found in vascular dementia patients at MRI
  35. be familiar with the imaging appearance of various neurologic processes for neurodegenerative diseases