Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 217–233 | Cite as

Neuroimaging and genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease and addiction-related degenerative brain disorders

  • Florence F. Roussotte
  • Madelaine Daianu
  • Neda Jahanshad
  • Cassandra D. Leonardo
  • Paul M. ThompsonEmail author
SI: Genetic Neuroimaging in Aging and Age-Related Diseases


Neuroimaging offers a powerful means to assess the trajectory of brain degeneration in a variety of disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Here we describe how multi-modal imaging can be used to study the changing brain during the different stages of AD. We integrate findings from a range of studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). Neuroimaging reveals how risk genes for degenerative disorders affect the brain, including several recently discovered genetic variants that may disrupt brain connectivity. We review some recent neuroimaging studies of genetic polymorphisms associated with increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). Some genetic variants that increase risk for drug addiction may overlap with those associated with degenerative brain disorders. These common associations offer new insight into mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration and addictive behaviors, and may offer new leads for treating them before severe and irreversible neurological symptoms appear.


Alzheimer’s disease Imaging genetics Multi-modal imaging Neurodegeneration Addiction 



F.F.R. was supported, in part, by a postdoctoral fellowship from the A. P. Giannini Foundation. M.D. was supported, in part, by National Institute of Health Grant T32 GM008185. This work was additionally supported by National Institutes of Health grants (R01 MH097268, R01 AG040060) to P.M.T.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florence F. Roussotte
    • 1
  • Madelaine Daianu
    • 1
  • Neda Jahanshad
    • 1
  • Cassandra D. Leonardo
    • 1
  • Paul M. Thompson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Imaging Genetics Center, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of NeurologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel InstituteDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

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