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A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine 1998 September;42(3):166-78

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Neurochemical imaging of Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative dementias

Frey K. A., Minoshima S., Kuhl D. E.

From the Division of Nuclear Medicine Department of Internal Medicine University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI USA


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A ­wide varie­ty of neu­ro­chem­i­cal and func­tion­al imag­ing approach­es ­have ­been ­applied to the ­study of pro­gres­sive demen­tias, par­tic­u­lar­ly Alzheimer’s dis­ease (AD) and relat­ed dis­or­ders. Despite con­sid­er­able ­progress in the ­past ­decade, the ­cause(s) of ­most cas­es of AD ­remain unde­ter­mined and pre­ven­tive or pro­tec­tive ther­a­pies are lack­ing. Specifically-­designed imag­ing pro­ce­dures ­have per­mit­ted the test­ing of path­o­phy­sio­log­i­cal hypoth­e­ses of the eti­ol­o­gy and pro­gres­sion of AD, and ­have yield­ed impor­tant ­insights in sev­er­al are­as includ­ing the poten­tial ­roles of cere­bral cor­ti­cal chol­i­ner­gic ­lesions, cel­lu­lar inflam­ma­tion, and loss­es of cor­ti­cal syn­ap­ses. From the per­spec­tive of clin­i­cal diag­no­sis, PET glu­cose metab­olism imag­ing ­with use of [18F]2-flu­o­rod­e­ox­y­glu­cose (FDG) is the ­most sen­si­tive and spe­cif­ic imag­ing modal­ity yet iden­ti­fied. The over­all per­for­mance of PET FDG is favor­able for rou­tine clin­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of sus­pect­ed AD, and ­will like­ly ­gain increas­ing util­iza­tion in the ­near ­future. Assessments of glu­cose metab­olism and oth­er, spe­cif­ic ­aspects of neu­ro­chem­is­try in AD ­will pro­vide ­direct meas­ures of ther­a­peu­tic ­drug ­actions and may per­mit dis­tinc­tion of symp­to­mat­ic ver­sus dis­ease-mod­i­fy­ing ther­a­pies as ­they are devel­oped and intro­duced in clin­i­cal ­trials.

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