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J Neurol. 1989 Mar;236(3):131-8.

The cerebral localization of neuropsychological impairment in Alzheimer's disease: a SPECT study.

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Neurologische Universitätsklinik, Vienna, Austria.


Twenty-three patients with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease were examined with a set of neuropsychological tests and with 99mTc-hexamethyl-propyleneamineoxime (HMPAO) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Correlations between test results and indices of regional HMPAO distribution were analysed by multidimensional scaling (MDS). Test results covaried positively with relative HMPAO uptake of frontal, inferior parietal and superior temporal regions but not, or in a negative way, with the remainder of the regions. When only positive correlations were analysed, MDS suggested two dimensions of organization: one was related to a dichotomy between frontal and temporo-parietal regions. The relationship of test results to this dimension was largely consistent with common neuropsychological knowledge. A second, less stringent dimension of organization opposed right and left hemisphere regions. The ordering of test results with respect to this dimension was only partly consistent with what is known about the lateralization of neuropsychological deficits from the study of localized brain lesions. The possibility is considered that these inconsistencies may reflect the effect of disproportionally severe involvement of extended cortical systems which modulates the sequels of localized brain damage.

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