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Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):184-91. doi: 10.1177/1533317507312621. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Correlative studies of structural and functional imaging in primary progressive aphasia.

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  • 1Neurosciences Unit, Health Department of Western Australia, Mt Claremont, Western Australia, Australia. macfarlane4@optusnet.co.au



To compare and contrast structural and functional imaging in primary progressive aphasia (PPA).


A cohort of 8 patients diagnosed with PPA presenting with nonfluency were prospectively evaluated. All patients had structural imaging in the form of MRI and in 1 patient CAT scanning on account of a cardiac pacemaker. All patients had single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.


SPECT and PET imaging had 100% correlation. Anatomical imaging was abnormal in only 6 of the 8 patients. Wernicke's area showed greater peak Z score reduction and extent of area affected than Broca's area (McNemar paired test: P = .008 for Z score reduction; P = .0003 for extent). PET scanning revealed significant involvement of the anterior cingulum.


Functional imaging in PPA: (a) identified more patients correctly than anatomic imaging highlighting the importance of SPECT and PET in the diagnosis; and (b) demonstrated the heterogeneous involvement of disordered linguistic networks in PPA suggesting its syndromic nature.

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