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Neurology. 2011 Oct 4;77(14):1357-62. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182315259. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Mild cognitive impairment in drug-naive patients with PD is associated with cerebral hypometabolism.

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  • 1Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging, CNR, Naples, Italy. sabina.pappata@cnr.it



To characterize brain metabolic changes associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in drug-naive patients with Parkinson disease (PD) using (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and PET (FDG-PET).


This cross-sectional study included newly diagnosed patients with PD with MCI in single or multiple domain (PD-MCI; n =12) and without MCI (PD-nMCI; n =12), and healthy controls (n =12). The groups were matched for age. Moreover, the patient groups were matched for motor disability. All subjects underwent a FDG-PET study. Cerebral regional relative metabolic maps were compared in PD-MCI, PD-nMCI, and controls using regions of interest analysis (ROIs) and voxel-based analysis with statistical parametric mapping.


ROIs and voxel-based analyses revealed significant relative hypometabolism in the prefrontal, superior/inferior parietal, and associative occipital cortices as well as in the striatum in patients with PD-MCI relative to controls (p < 0.05) and to a lesser extent in patients with PD-nMCI. In contrast, patients with PD-nMCI did not show significant metabolic changes as compared to controls.


MCI in patients with PD is associated with cortical hypometabolism since the earliest stage, independent of therapy or motor disability. The early involvement of posterior cortical region, a pattern shared by advanced stages of PD-MCI and PD with dementia, could represent an early marker of dementia. The relevance of this pattern in predicting prodromal dementia has to be evaluated in longitudinal studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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