Brain Mapping

The enormous social and economic cost of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has driven a number of neuroimaging investigations for early detection and diagnosis. Towards this end, various computational approaches have been applied to longitudinal imaging data in subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), as serial brain imaging could increase sensitivity for detecting changes from baseline, and potentially serve as a diagnostic biomarker for AD. However, current state-of-the-art brain imaging diagnostic methods have limited utility in clinical practice due to the lack of robust predictive power.
Background: Memory for music has attracted much recent interest in Alzheimer's disease but the underlying brain mechanisms have not been defined in patients directly. Here we addressed this issue in an Alzheimer's disease cohort using activation fMRI of two core musical memory systems. Methods: We studied 34 patients with younger onset Alzheimer's disease led either by episodic memory decline (typical Alzheimer's disease)or by visuospatial impairment (posterior cortical atrophy)in relation to 19 age-matched healthy individuals.