Preclinical Diagnosis of DAT by Brain Mapping

John Csernansky, MD
Washington University (St. Louis, MO)
Year Awarded:
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2000 to March 31, 2002
Alzheimer's Disease
Award Amount:
Grant Reference ID:
Award Type:
Award Region:
US Midwestern

Preclinical Diagnosis of DAT by Brain Mapping


The disease processes causing dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT) are thought to exist in the brain for several years before clinical symptoms appear. Brain-scanning techniques are being applied with increasing accuracy to identify early changes in brain structure that might precede a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Dr. Csernansky has used these methods to study subjects with very early AD symptoms. He has already detected changes in the shape of the brain and a shrinkage of the hippocampus, one of the areas most affected by AD. He is now performing tests to determine whether these methods can predict the course of the disease. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and brain mapping will be performed on healthy elderly subjects between the ages of 55 and 90. The subjects are being followed for several years to determine the onset and degree of dementia symptoms. Also, because a mutation in the ApoE gene is a risk factor for developing AD, the predictive power of the brain scans will be assessed with and without testing for the ApoE mutation. If Dr. Csernansky's hypothesis is correct, the diagnosis of AD could be made earlier in the disease process, which could lead to earlier and more successful treatments for AD.


Csernansky, J.G., Wang, L., Swank, J., Miller, J.P., Gado, M., McKeel, D., Miller, M.I., Morris, J.C. Preclinical detection of Alzheimer's disease: Hippocampal shape and volume predict dementia in the elderly. NeuroImage 25:783 -792, 2005.  

Csernansky, J.G., Wang, L., Miller, J.P., Galvin, J.E., Morris, J.C. Neuroanatomical predictors of response to donepezil in dementia patients. Arch Neurol 62:1718-1722, 2005.  

Wang, L., Beg, M.F., Ratnanather, J.T., Ceritoglu, C., Younes, L., Morris, J.C., Csernansky, J.G., Miller, M.I. Large deformation diffeomorphism and momentum based hippocampal shape discrimination in dementia of the Alzheimer type. IEEE Transactions in Medical Imaging 26:462-470, 2007.  

Marcus, D.S., Wang, T.S., Parker, J., Csernansky, J.G., Morris, J.C., Buckner, R.L. Open access structural imaging series (OASIS), Set 1: Cross-sectional MRI data in young, middle-aged, nondemented and demented older adults. J Cogn Neurosci 19:1498-1507, 2007.  

Wang, L., Khan, A., Csernansky, J.G., Fischl, B., Miller, M.I., Morris, J.C., Beg, M.F. Fully-automated, multi-stage hippocampus mapping in very mild Alzheimer disease. Hippocampus 19:541-548, 2009.  

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