PURPOSE: Brain imaging of FDG uptake and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentration of amyloid-beta 1-42 (Abeta(1-42)) or tau proteins are promising biomarkers in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). There is still uncertainty regarding any association between decreased FDG uptake and alterations in CSF markers. METHODS: The relationship between FDG uptake, CSF Abeta(1-42) and total tau (T-tau), as well as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was investigated in 34 subjects with probable AD using step-wise linear regression. FDG uptake was scaled to the pons. RESULTS: Scaled FDG uptake was significantly reduced in the probable AD subjects compared to 17 controls bilaterally in the precuneus/posterior cingulate area, angular gyrus/inferior parietal cortex, inferior temporal/midtemporal cortex, midfrontal cortex, and left caudate. Voxel-based single-subject analysis of the probable AD subjects at p < 0.001 (uncorrected) revealed a total volume of significant hypometabolism ranging from 0 to 452 ml (median 70 ml). The total hypometabolic volume was negatively correlated with the MMSE score, but it was not correlated with the CSF measures. VOI-based step-wise linear regression revealed that scaled FDG uptake in the precuneus/posterior cingulate was negatively correlated with CSF Abeta(1-42). Scaled FDG uptake in the caudate was positively correlated with CSF T-tau. CONCLUSION: The extent and local severity of the reduction in FDG uptake in probable AD subjects are associated with cognitive impairment. In addition, there appears to be a relationship between local FDG uptake and CSF biomarkers which differs between different brain regions.
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