The relationship of regional frontal hypometabolism to executive function: a resting fluorodeoxyglucose PET study of patients with epilepsy and healthy controls

Epilepsy Behav. 2006 Aug;9(1):58-67. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2006.04.007. Epub 2006 May 18.


Executive dysfunction is common in patients with frontal lobe damage and may depend on the location of pathology within the frontal lobes. However, it is unclear how specific brain regions contribute to different aspects of executive functioning. Eighteen patients with frontal lobe epilepsy, 10 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, and 14 controls completed a series of tests that measure a broad range of executive functions. Resting fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scans were collected and regional cerebral rates of glucose uptake values were regressed on test scores. Results revealed that frontal lobe metabolic values were strong predictors of executive functioning in patients with epilepsy, but not in healthy controls. However, nonfrontal regions also contributed unique variance on several measures, suggesting that (1) a network of frontal and nonfrontal regions subserve many executive functions and (2) resting hypometabolism can be a useful predictor of executive dysfunction in patients with epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Epilepsy, Frontal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsy, Frontal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myoclonic Epilepsy, Juvenile / diagnostic imaging
  • Myoclonic Epilepsy, Juvenile / metabolism*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Regression Analysis


  • Blood Glucose
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18