The goal of this paper was to review the effectiveness of using 7-T MRI to study neuroimaging biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The authors reviewed the literature for articles published to date on the use of 7-T MRI to study AD. Thus far, there are 3 neuroimaging biomarkers for AD that have been studied using 7-T MRI in AD tissue: 1) neuroanatomical atrophy; 2) molecular characterization of hypointensities; and 3) microinfarcts.
Seven-Tesla MRI has had mixed results when used to study the 3 aforementioned neuroimaging biomarkers for AD.
First, in the detection of neuroanatomical atrophy, 7-T MRI has exciting potential. Historically, noninvasive imaging of neuroanatomical atrophy during AD has been limited by suboptimal resolution. However, now there is compelling evidence that the high resolution of 7-T MRI may help overcome this hurdle. Second, in detecting the characterization of hypointensities, 7-T MRI has had varied success. PET scans will most likely continue to lead in the noninvasive imaging of amyloid plaques; however, there is emerging evidence that 7-T MRI can accurately detect iron deposits within activated microglia, which may help shed light on the role of the immune system in AD pathogenesis. Finally, in the detection of microinfarcts, 7-T MRI may also play a promising role, which may help further elucidate the relationship between cerebrovascular health and AD progression.