Brain positron emission tomography in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 and type 2

J Neurol Sci. 2017 Jul 15;378:187-192. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2017.05.013. Epub 2017 May 10.


Aim: To determine regions of reduced brain metabolism in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and type 2 (DM2) using 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), and to analyse their potential association with cognitive deficit.

Method: Study included 29 patients (16 DM1 and 13 DM2). FDG-PET and detailed neuropsychological testing were performed in both groups.

Results: The most common cognitive findings were executive, visuospatial, and naming dysfunction in DM1, and executive and naming dysfunction in DM2. FDG-PET showed the most prominent glucose hypometabolism in prefrontal, temporal, and pericentral regions in both DM1 and DM2 patients, with additional affection of insula and subcortical grey matter in DM2. In DM1 patients, we found association between right frontotemporal hypometabolism and executive dysfunction (p<0.05). In DM2 patients attention deficit was in association with prefrontal, insular, and striatal hypometabolism, as well as right frontotemporal hypometabolism (p<0.05). Executive dysfunction in DM2 was more common in patients with prefrontal and insular hypometabolism, right parietotemporal and frontotemporal hypometabolism, as well as left striatal hypometabolism (p<0.05). Patients with parietotemporal defect on FDG-PET were more likely to have naming dysfunction (p<0.01).

Conclusion: FDG-PET findings corresponded well with the results of neuropsychological testing. FDG-PET may be a good biomarker of central nervous system involvement in DM1 and DM2, but this hypothesis will have to be more strongly supported by larger studies.

Keywords: Brain positron emission tomography; Myotonic dystrophy type 1; Myotonic dystrophy type 2; Neuropsychology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / metabolism*
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / psychology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose