Fast Five Quiz: Alzheimer Disease Differential Diagnosis and Workup

Jasvinder P. Chawla, MD, MBA


May 23, 2019

Per AAN recommendations, in patients with suspected Alzheimer disease, brain MRI and CT should be performed to detect other causes of dementia (eg, stroke, tumor, small-vessel disease). In clinical research studies, atrophy of the hippocampi (structures important in mediating memory processes) on coronal MRI is considered a valid biomarker of Alzheimer disease neuropathology. Nonetheless, measurement of hippocampal volume is not used in routine clinical care in the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease.

Neither brain sclerotic lesions nor calcifications are associated with Alzheimer disease.

Although a study of asymptomatic patients suggested that brain size (ie, regions of the cortex) may help predict risk for Alzheimer disease, measurement of brain size is not necessary to diagnose Alzheimer disease.

For more on imaging studies for diagnosing Alzheimer disease, read here.


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