March 1987

The Diagnosis of Dementia With Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Martinez, Calif (Drs Jagust and Reed), and the Donner Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley (Drs Jagust and Budinger).

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(3):258-262. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520150014011

• Single photon emission computed tomography is a practical modality for the study of physiologic cerebral activity in vivo. We utilized single photon emission computed tomography and N-isopropyl-p-iodoamphetamine iodine 123 to evaluate regional cerebral blood flow in nine patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), five healthy elderly control subjects, and two patients with multi-infarct dementia. We found that all subjects with AD demonstrated flow deficits in temporoparietal cortex bilaterally, and that the ratio of activity in bilateral temporoparietal cortex to activity in the whole slice allowed the differentiation of all patients with AD from both the controls and from the patients with multi-infarct dementia. Furthermore, this ratio showed a strong correlation with disease severity in the AD group. Single photon emission computed tomography appears to be useful in the differential diagnosis of dementia and reflects clinical features of the disease.