Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, which is the most common cause of dementia. Its prevalence for people aged 65-70 y is 1%, while it is 7% for the 75-84 y group, and 26% among those aged 90 and older. In Canada, persons over age 65 will make up to 15% of the population by 2016, but this amount is estimated to reach 23% by 2041. It is assumed that the prevalence of AD will quadruple by 2050 resulting in great financial burden.
It is believed that the pathophysiological process of AD begins well before the diagnosis of the dementia. Like many other neurodegenerative diseases, early treatment, before occurrence of too much irreversible degeneration of brain tissue, can be more effective. However, early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is currently almost impossible. The well-cited biomarker model that the structural MRI begins showing abnormality at the preclinical stage and rises significantly in MCI stage, which makes it an interesting candidate for prognosis of dementia onset. Our group with sophisticated image analysis techniques followed by statistical analysis tries to make the diagnosis and prediction possible at the level of an individual person.