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Abstract

Objective To determine whether the hypometabolism observed in PET images of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is due entirely to brain atrophy.
Background Reduced brain glucose metabolism in AD patients measured using PET has been reported by numerous authors. Actual glucose metabolic values in AD may be reduced artificially because of brain atrophy, which accentuates the partial volume effect (PVE) on data collected by PET.
Methods Using segmented MR images, we corrected regional cerebral metabolic rates for glucose for PVEs to evaluate the effect of atrophy on uncorrected values for brain metabolism in AD patients and healthy control subjects.
Results Global glucose metabolism was reduced significantly before and after correction in AD patients compared with controls. Before PVE correction, glucose metabolic values in patients were lower than in control subjects in the inferior parietal, frontal, and lateral temporal cortex; in the posterior cingulate; and in the precuneus. These reductions remained significantly lower after PVE correction, although in the posterior cingulate the difference in metabolism between AD patients and control subjects lessened. Regional glucose metabolism of these areas with PVE correction was lower in moderately-severely demented patients than in mildly demented patients.
Conclusion Reduced glucose metabolism measured by PET in AD is not simply an artifact due to an increase in CSF space induced by atrophy, but reflects a true metabolic reduction per gram of tissue.

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Published In

Neurology®
Volume 50Number 6June 1998
Pages: 1585-1593
PubMed: 9633698

Publication History

Published online: June 1, 1998
Published in print: June 1998

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Authors

Affiliations & Disclosures

V. Ibáñez, MD, PhD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
P. Pietrini, MD, PhD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
G. E. Alexander, PhD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
M. L. Furey, PhD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
D. Teichberg, MS
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
J. C. Rajapakse, PhD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
S. I. Rapoport, MD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
M. B. Schapiro, MD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.
B. Horwitz, PhD
From the Laboratory of Neurosciences (Drs. Ibáñez, Pietrini, Alexander, Furey, Rapoport, Schapiro, and Horwitz, and D. Teichberg), National Institute on Aging, and Child Psychiatry Branch (Dr. Rajapakse), National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Neuroimaging Unit (Dr. Ibáñez), Division de Neuropsychiatrie, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Department of Human and Environmental Sciences (Dr. Pietrini), University of Pisa, Italy.

Notes

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Horwitz, Building 10, Room 6C414, MSC 1588, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892.

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