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Neurology. 2009 Oct 13;73(15):1186-92. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181bacf1b. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Follow-up of [11C]PIB uptake and brain volume in patients with Alzheimer disease and controls.

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  • 1Turku PET Centre, FIN-20521 Turku, Finland



In Alzheimer disease (AD), the accumulation pattern of beta-amyloid over time and its relationship with dementia severity are unclear. We investigated the brain uptake of the amyloid ligand (11)C-labeled Pittsburgh compound B ([(11)C]PIB) and volumetric brain changes over a 2-year follow-up in patients with AD and in aged healthy controls.


Fourteen patients with AD (mean age 72 years, SD 6.6) and 13 healthy controls (mean age 68 years, SD 5.4) were examined at baseline and after 2 years (patients with AD: mean 2.0 years, SD 0.2; controls: mean 2.1 years, SD 0.6) with [(11)C]PIB PET, MRI, and neuropsychological assessments. [(11)C]PIB uptake was analyzed with a voxel-based statistical method (SPM), and quantitative data were obtained with automated region-of-interest analysis. MRI data were analyzed with voxel-wise tensor-based morphometry.


The [(11)C]PIB uptake of the patients with AD did not increase significantly during follow-up when compared with that of the controls. MRI showed progressive brain volume change in the patients with AD, e.g., in the hippocampal region, temporal cortex, and precuneus (p < 0.05). The mean Mini-Mental State Examination score of the patients with AD declined from 24.3 (SD 3.1) at baseline to 21.6 (SD 3.9) at follow-up (p = 0.009). Cognitive decline was also evident in other neuropsychological test results. Baseline neocortical [(11)C]PIB uptake ratios predicted subsequent volumetric brain changes in the controls (r = 0.725, p = 0.005).


The results suggest no (or only little) increase in (11)C-labeled Pittsburgh compound B ([(11)C]PIB) uptake during 2 years of Alzheimer disease progression, despite advancing brain atrophy and declining cognitive performance. Nevertheless, changes in [(11)C]PIB uptake during a longer follow-up cannot be excluded. High cortical [(11)C]PIB uptake may predict ongoing brain atrophy in cognitively normal individuals.

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