As well known, the increase in life expectancy and the better physical condition of people
in western countries will lead in the next 20 years to a dramatic development of neurodegenerative
diseases, especially of dementia that could be considered one of the most important problems in clinical,
social and economic fields for the future. Therefore, the differential diagnosis of the various types
of dementia is a critical step for patients, clinicians and researchers since an accurate “in vivo”
diagnosis can lead to a better patients management. Neuroimaging techniques and in particular the
most diffuse and affordable single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) have provided
useful information about dementia disorders and these methods, on the basis of the recent advances,
will have an increasingly important role in research and clinical practice. The purpose of this article is
to analyze the different SPECT techniques now available which proved clinically useful in correctly
formulating the differential diagnosis of dementia.
Keywords: Brain SPECT, perfusion functional imaging, 123I Ioflupane dopaminegic imaging, dementia differential diagnosis.
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