CT Scan and Neuropsychological Relationships in Aging and Dementia
Prior to the availability of CT scanning, the study of age-related and disease-related changes of the brain was primarily accomplished by two means: pneumoencephalography and autopsy. These techniques have serious limitations, particularly in relation to the study of normal aging and the early stages of dementia. With pneumoencephalography (PEG), the risk to the patient was such that the technique was limited only to cases where it could be clinically justified. This resulted in a heterogeneous database, especially in the older age ranges. Furthermore, artifacts associated with PEG raised questions about its reliability for measuring many of the cerebral changes of interest such as the size of the sulci and the size of the fissures. Information provided from autopsy is also limited in that it is based on the state of the brain just prior to death. Efforts to identify parameters of normal aging or markers of disease that might be diagnostically useful during life were therefore limited. With the advent of the CT scanner, many of these methodological and analytical problems could be avoided.
KeywordsLateral Ventricle Fluid Volume Senile Dementia Cerebral Atrophy Ventricular Size
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