Most dementias begin insidiously, developing slowly and generally occurring in the elderly age group. The so-called rapidly progressive dementias constitute a different, diverse collection of conditions, many of which are reversible or treatable. For this reason, accurate identification and assessment of acute and subacute forms of dementia are critical to effective treatment; neuroimaging aids greatly in narrowing the diagnosis of these conditions. This second installment of a 2-part review of rapidly progressive dementias examines the use of imaging in an assortment of other etiologies in the differential diagnosis, from prion disease and neoplastic-related conditions to rare metabolic and other conditions such as Wernicke encephalopathy. In these clinical conditions, MR imaging has the potential to narrow this broad differential diagnosis and, at times, can definitively aid in the diagnosis of certain conditions on the basis of typical imaging patterns.
Degnan, A. J., & Levy, L. M. (2014). Neuroimaging of rapidly progressive dementias, part 2: Prion, inflammatory, neoplastic, and other etiologies. American Journal of Neuroradiology. American Society of Neuroradiology. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A3455