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Brain imaging in dementias—we report what we see but is what we see the truth?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Carola-Bibiane Schoenlieb.

Imaging technology has reached a stage of sophistication where it can be applied to address mechanistic questions in dementias. For instance, structure, neural connectivity, metabolism, receptor populations and even pathological deposits can now be imaging non-invasively. This offers the potential to understand both the spatial and temporal relationships of the various elements (e.g. cell loss, toxic deposition of proteins etc.) of these diseases with the potential to therefore tease out causal relationships between pathology and neural degeneration. There are, however, considerable methodological challenges. Different imaging techniques have differing signal-to-noise ratios; furthermore errors in image processing such as tissue segmentation or delineating boundaries can lead to both failures in detection of change and/or identification of spurious relationships. This presentation will highlight some of the problems with particular reference to processing imaging data.

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