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Radiol Clin North Am. 2005 Jan;43(1):67-77, x.

PET imaging in the assessment of normal and impaired cognitive function.

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Neuroimaging Section, Nuclear Medicine Clinic, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6942, USA.


PET has been used to directly quantify several processes relevant to the status of cerebral health and function, including cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, cerebral rate of oxygen metabolism, and cerebral glucose use. Clinically, the most commonly performed PET studies of the brain are performed with fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose as the imaged radiopharmaceutical. Such scans have demonstrated diagnostic and prognostic use in evaluating patients who have cognitive impairment, and in distinguishing among primary neurodegenerative dementias and other causes of cognitive decline. In certain pathologic circumstances, the normal coupling between blood flow and metabolic needs may be disturbed, and changes in oxygen extraction fraction can have significant prognostic value.

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