Clinical studies of cerebral blood flow in Alzheimer's disease

William J. Jagust, Jamie L. Eberling, Bruce R Reed, Chester A. Mathis, Thomas F. Budinger

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Abstract

Studies of Alzheimer's disease using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) have found reductions in blood flow and glucose metabolism in temporal and parietal cortex. In 50 AD patients who underwent neuropsychological testing and SPECT perfusion imaging, we found significant correlations between perfusion and performance on the Mini-Mental Status Examination in the frontal and parietal lobes. In addition, specific correlations between perfusion in the frontal lobes and performance on tests of frontal lobe ability were noted. These findings, while suggesting the importance of perfusion measures in determining clinical features of the disease, do not clearly define perfusion changes as primary, since similar findings have been seen when metabolism is studied. In a separate group of 5 AD patients and 16 controls, we used PET with the perfusion tracer HIPDM and examined cerebrovascular reactivity to carbon dioxide inhalation. We found that in multiple brain regions, including the temporal lobes, AD patients showed robust and significant increases in perfusion in response to carbon dioxide that did not differ from the response seen in the controls, Taken together, these results show that while perfusion changes are important in AD, they are not clearly either primary or limiting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-262
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume826
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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