In order to establish whether positron emission tomography (PET) can identify metabolic changes in Alzheimer's disease at a presymptomatic stage, we have examined 24 asymptomatic at risk individuals from families with Alzheimer's disease. A significant reduction in global cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was found when compared with 16 age-matched controls. There was also a focal, parieto-temporal deficit similar to, although less extensive than, that found in 18 symptomatic individuals from familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) pedigrees. Follow up of this cohort will establish whether these metabolic changes relate to a presymptomatic stage of the disease. © 1995.
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