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Neurology. 1986 Jul;36(7):879-87.

Positron emission tomography in Alzheimer's disease.


Twenty-one patients with a clinical diagnosis of dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT) and 29 healthy, age-matched controls were studied using positron emission tomography (PET) and [18F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose to measure regional cerebral glucose consumption in the resting state. Reductions in ratio measures of relative metabolism in some parietal, temporal, and frontal regions were found in mild, moderate, and severe DAT groups. A significant increase in right/left metabolic asymmetry, particularly in parietal regions, also was seen in mild and moderate groups. Only in the severely demented patients was the absolute cerebral metabolic rate reduced significantly from control values. Fourteen patients had repeated PET studies, but only those patients with moderate to severe dementia showed a decline in IQ over 6 to 15 months. There were no significant changes in metabolic measures over time. PET is useful in quantifying regional cerebral dysfunction in DAT, even in the early stages of the disease.

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