Subgroups in dementia of the Alzheimer type identified using positron emission tomography

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. Fall 1990;2(4):373-84. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2.4.373.


We examined patterns of cerebral glucose metabolism in 33 patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type by applying principal component analysis to identify subgroups. Four subgroups were identified: one with predominant parietotemporal hypometabolism (15 patients); one with paralimbic metabolic deficits (8 patients); one with left hemisphere neocortical abnormality (5 patients); and one with frontal and parietotemporal deficit (5 patients). Differences among the subgroups were found in neuropsychological impairments and prevalence of psychiatric symptoms. These metabolic subgroups could not be explained on the basis of dementia severity, illness duration, or age, but were most likely related to an underlying pathology with a variable regional distribution.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / classification
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Blood Glucose