Can MRI diagnose dementia?  The answer is complicated…. It can definitely help in the diagnosis.

In Radiology, patients pose this question often. “Can MRI show if I have dementia?” In fact, we scan patients every day with a diagnosis of dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and confusion, among a variety of other neurological disorders.

The truth is that MRI is NOT the test to formally diagnose dementia. But to understand how MRI fits into the diagnosis process of a patient with suspected dementia, one must first understand how dementia is defined.

Dementia is a general term for neurocognitive deficiencies that impair or interfere with living a normal life due to memory deficits, decision making issues, or difficulty thinking clearly. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common and well known rendition of dementia, but there are other forms of the disease as well.  Continue reading →