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Table 1 MRI biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases

From: Relevance of biomarkers across different neurodegenerative diseases

Biomarker Target Advantages Disadvantages
Volumetry (vMRI) Whole brain/medial temporal lobe, hippocampus Highly reproducible and sensitive to disease-related changes Late-stage biomarker; cannot provide information on the cause of atrophy
Cortical thickness Cerebral cortex May improve classification between dementia subtypes Limited to neocortex; cannot be used to determine the cause of atrophy
Functional MRI (fMRI) Regional/network functional activity Can evaluate robusticity of networks at resting state and during tasks Reproducibility and influence of vasculature unclear
FLAIR/T2 imaging White matter lesions Highly sensitive Cannot determine the cause of the lesion
T2*/susceptibility-weighted imaging Microbleeds/myelin/iron Microbleed location can aid diagnosis Undesirable artifacts at air/tissue interfaces; few longitudinal studies to date
Diffusion tensor imaging White matter Highly sensitive to white matter damage Fairly low resolution and sensitive to artifacts from water diffusion; particularly sensitive to movements
Neuromelanin-sensitive Locus coeruleus, substantia nigra Sensitive to noradrenergic and dopaminergic subcortical nuclei Semi-quantitative assessment/not disease specific
  1. Abbreviations: MRI magnetic resonance imaging, FLAIR fluid-attenuated inversion recovery