Having a parent affected with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a risk factor for developing AD among cognitively normal subjects. We examined whether cognitively normal subjects with a parental family history of AD show cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (CMRglc) reductions consistent with AD as compared with those without a family history and whether there are parent gender effects. Forty-nine 50- to 80-year-old normal subjects were examined who received clinical, neuropsychological, and 2-[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose-positron emission tomography examinations, including 16 subjects with a maternal (FHm) and eight with a paternal (FHp) family history of AD and 25 with no family history (FH(-)). FH groups were comparable for demographic and neuropsychological measures. As compared with both FH(-) and FHp groups, FHm subjects showed CMRglc reductions in the same regions as clinically affected AD patients, involving the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, parietotemporal and frontal cortices, and medial temporal lobes (P < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons). These effects remained significant after accounting for possible risk factors for AD, including age, gender, education, apolipoprotein E genotype, and subjective memory complaints. No CMRglc differences were found between FHp and FH(-) subjects. This study shows a relationship between reduced CMRglc in AD-vulnerable brain regions and a maternal family history of AD in cognitively normal individuals.