Cerebral glucose hypermetabolism in Friedreich's ataxia detected with positron emission tomography

Ann Neurol. 1990 Dec;28(6):750-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.410280605.


Local cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was studied with 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose and positron emission tomography (PET) in 22 patients with Friedreich's ataxia and 23 age-matched normal control subjects. The diagnosis of Friedreich's ataxia was established by the history and physical findings and by excluding other diseases through laboratory investigations. PET studies revealed a statistically significant widespread increase of local cerebral metabolic rate for glucose in the brains of patients with Friedreich's ataxia who were still ambulatory, in comparison with normal control subjects. Nonambulatory patients with Friedreich's ataxia, in comparison with normal control subjects, had significantly increased local cerebral metabolic rates for glucose in the caudate and lenticular nuclei, but not in the other structures studied. The rate was significantly greater in ambulatory patients with Friedreich's ataxia than in nonambulatory patients in all structures studied except the caudate and lenticular nuclei. The data suggest that early in the course of Friedreich's ataxia, the local cerebral metabolic rate for glucose is increased extensively in the central nervous system, and as the disease progresses, it decreases in a regionally specific manner.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Friedreich Ataxia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Friedreich Ataxia / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Glucose