In this issue of Clinical Science, Biesbroek and colleagues describe recent work on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based cerebral lesion location and its association with cognitive decline. The authors conclude that diagnostic neuroimaging in dementia should shift from whole-brain evaluation to focused quantitative analysis of strategic brain areas. This commentary uses the review of lesion location mapping to discuss broader issues around studies of dementia test strategies. We draw upon work completed by the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group designed to improve design, conduct and reporting of dementia biomarker studies.

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