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October 1986

Positron Emission Tomography in Dementia of the Alzheimer Type: A Brief Review With a Case Study

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Md (Drs Berg, Grady, Haxby, and Rapoport, and Mr Sundaram and Ms Moore); the Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis (Ms White and Dr Heston); and the Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine and the Jewish Hospital of St Louis (Dr Avioli).

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(10):2045-2049. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360220219035

Positron emission tomography (PET) has emerged as an important technique for the in vivo investigation of cerebral physiology and metabolism. Patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) have been studied with many brain imaging procedures, including PET. Although PET studies of demented subjects may be challenging to perform and difficult to interpret, research laboratories have collected useful data on a combined patient population of several hundred subjects. The purpose of this presentation is to summarize the major findings of these groups and to discuss serial PET studies done in the Laboratory of Neurosciences (LNS) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Bethesda, Md, on a subject with familial DAT.

Reviews of the theoretical principles and applications of PET have been published1,2; the basics can be briefly summarized. Whereas radiologic computed tomography (CT) depends on computer reconstruction of information derived from differential attenuation of an x-ray beam passing through

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