Positron emission tomography scans obtained for the evaluation of cognitive dysfunction.

David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Seminars in Nuclear Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.13). 08/2008; 38(4):251-61. DOI: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2008.02.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The degree of intactness of human cognitive functioning for a given individual spans a wide spectrum, ranging from normal to severely demented. The differential diagnosis for the causes of impairment along that spectrum is also wide, and often difficult to distinguish clinically, which has led to an increasing role for neuroimaging tools in that evaluation. The most frequent causes of dementia are neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer's disease being the most prevalent among them, and they produce significant alterations in brain metabolism, with devastating neuropathologic, clinical, social, and economic consequences. These alterations are detectable through positron emission tomography (PET), even in their earliest stages. The most commonly performed PET studies of the brain are performed with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose as the imaged radiopharmaceutical. Such scans have demonstrated diagnostic and prognostic utility for clinicians evaluating patients with cognitive impairment and in distinguishing among primary neurodegenerative disorders and other etiologies contributing to cognitive decline. In addition to focusing on the effects on cerebral metabolism examined with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET, some other changes occurring in the brains of cognitively impaired patients assessable with other radiotracers will be considered. As preventive and disease-modifying treatments are developed, early detection of accurately diagnosed disease processes facilitated by the use of PET has the potential to substantially impact on the enormous human toll exacted by these diseases.

Download full-text


Available from: Lisa Mosconi, Jul 01, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: [(18)F]FDG-PET imaging has been recognized as a crucial diagnostic marker in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), supporting the presence or the exclusion of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) pathology. A clinical heterogeneity, however, underlies MCI definition. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the predictive role of single-subject voxel-based maps of [(18)F]FDG distribution generated through statistical parametric mapping (SPM) in the progression to different dementia subtypes in a sample of 45 MCI. Their scans were compared to a large normal reference dataset developed and validated for comparison at single-subject level. Additionally, Aβ42 and Tau CSF values were available in 34 MCI subjects. Clinical follow-up (mean 28.5 ± 7.8 months) assessed subsequent progression to AD or non-AD dementias. The SPM analysis showed: 1) normal brain metabolism in 14 MCI cases, none of them progressing to dementia; 2) the typical temporo-parietal pattern suggestive for prodromal AD in 15 cases, 11 of them progressing to AD; 3) brain hypometabolism suggestive of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) subtypes in 7 and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) in 2 subjects (all fulfilled FTLD or DLB clinical criteria at follow-up); and 4) 7 MCI cases showed a selective unilateral or bilateral temporo-medial hypometabolism without the typical AD pattern, and they all remained stable. In our sample, objective voxel-based analysis of [(18)F]FDG-PET scans showed high predictive prognostic value, by identifying either normal brain metabolism or hypometabolic patterns suggestive of different underlying pathologies, as confirmed by progression at follow-up. These data support the potential usefulness of this SPM [(18)F]FDG PET analysis in the early dementia diagnosis and for improving subject selection in clinical trials based on MCI definition.
    01/2015; 7:187-94. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.12.004
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the glucose analog 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucose ([(18)F] FDG) has demonstrated clinical utility for the monitoring of brain glucose metabolism alteration in progressive neurodegenerative diseases. We examined dynamic [(18)F]FDG PET imaging and kinetic modeling of atlas-based regions to evaluate regional changes in the cerebral metabolic rate of glucose in the widely-used 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat model of Parkinson's disease. Following a bolus injection of 18.5 ± 1 MBq [(18)F]FDG and a 60-minute PET scan, image-derived input functions from the vena cava and left ventricle were used with three models, including Patlak graphical analysis, to estimate the influx constant and the metabolic rate in ten brain regions. We observed statistically significant changes in [(18)F]FDG uptake ipsilateral to the 6-OHDA injection in the basal ganglia, olfactory bulb, and amygdala regions; and these changes are of biological relevance to the disease. These experiments provide further validation for the use of [(18)F]FDG PET imaging in this model for drug discovery and development.
    American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 01/2013; 3(2):129-41. · 3.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lower brain glucose metabolism is present before the onset of clinically measurable cognitive decline in two groups of people at risk of Alzheimer's disease--carriers of apolipoprotein E4, and in those with a maternal family history of AD. Supported by emerging evidence from in vitro and animal studies, these reports suggest that brain hypometabolism may precede and therefore contribute to the neuropathologic cascade leading to cognitive decline in AD. The reason brain hypometabolism develops is unclear but may include defects in brain glucose transport, disrupted glycolysis, and/or impaired mitochondrial function. Methodologic issues presently preclude knowing with certainty whether or not aging in the absence of cognitive impairment is necessarily associated with lower brain glucose metabolism. Nevertheless, aging appears to increase the risk of deteriorating systemic control of glucose utilization, which, in turn, may increase the risk of declining brain glucose uptake, at least in some brain regions. A contributing role of deteriorating glucose availability to or metabolism by the brain in AD does not exclude the opposite effect, i.e., that neurodegenerative processes in AD further decrease brain glucose metabolism because of reduced synaptic functionality and hence reduced energy needs, thereby completing a vicious cycle. Strategies to reduce the risk of AD by breaking this cycle should aim to (1) improve insulin sensitivity by improving systemic glucose utilization, or (2) bypass deteriorating brain glucose metabolism using approaches that safely induce mild, sustainable ketonemia.
    Nutrition 10/2010; 27(1):3-20. DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2010.07.021 · 3.05 Impact Factor