Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

PET May Spy Brain Changes in Young Adults with AD Gene. (Measuring Cerebral Glucose Metabolism)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

PET May Spy Brain Changes in Young Adults with AD Gene. (Measuring Cerebral Glucose Metabolism)

Article excerpt

STOCKHOLM -- Abnormalities in regional brain activity can be seen as early as young adulthood in people with increased genetic susceptibility to late-onset Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Eric Reiman reported at the Eighth International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders.

Dr. Reiman of the Arizona Alzheimer's Research Center, Phoenix, and his associates previously reported that cognitively normal adults aged 50-64 who carried one or two copies of the [member of]4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene had abnormally low metabolic activity in the same brain regions as did patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 13:98[6]:3334-39, 2001, and N. Engl. J. Med. 334[12]:752-58, 1996).

Now, it appears that the phenomenon actually begins decades earlier. Positron emission tomography with (18) fluorodeoxyglucose scans were performed in 12 young adults aged 20-39 (mean age 31) who carried one [member of]4 allele, and in 15 age-matched subjects who did not carry the Alzheimer's disease susceptibility gene. There were no differences between the groups in educational level, ratings of dementia or depression, or neuropsychological test scores; all performed normally, he said.

The cerebral metabolic rate for glucose in the genetically susceptible young adults was 8%-10.5% lower bilaterally than in the controls in the same posterior cingulate, parietal, temporal, and prefrontal regions that are abnormal in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease, said Dr. …

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