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J Neurol Sci. 1994 Jul;124(2):198-203.

Striatal 18F-dopa uptake and brain glucose metabolism by PET in patients with syndrome of progressive ataxia.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Striatal 18F-Dopa uptake and brain glucose metabolism were studied by PET with 6-L-[18F]flurodopa and [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose in 11 patients with syndrome of progressive ataxia. Five of the 11 patients were diagnosed as having cerebellar cortical degeneration (CCD), including 3 with late cerebellar cortical atrophy and 2 with Holmes type hereditary ataxia while 6 demonstrated olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA). The caudate and putaminal 18F-Dopa uptake ratios to the occipital cortex in CCD showed no significant difference from those in the controls. On the other hand, those with OPCA decreased as compared to the controls. In addition, the cerebellar glucose metabolism in CCD decreased as compared to the controls, while that in the brainstem showed no significant decrease from the controls. The glucose metabolic rates both in the cerebellar hemisphere and in the brainstem in the OPCA patients decreased compared to the controls. The cerebral cortical, striatal and thalamic glucose metabolisms were normal in both the CCD and OPCA in groups. The appearance of a decreased glucose metabolism in the cerebellum is considered to be relevant in the genesis of cerebellar ataxia, even though their underlying diseases were different from each other. The differences in the glucose metabolism of the brainstem and in the nigrostriatal presynaptic dopaminergic function between CCD and OPCA as assessed by PET may be caused by differences in the pathophysiological mechanism between CCD and OPCA, and those differences appear to be useful when making a differential diagnosis of CCD and OPCA.

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