Positron emission tomography in the early diagnosis of Huntington's disease

Neurology. 1986 Jul;36(7):888-94. doi: 10.1212/wnl.36.7.888.


We studied 10 patients with early Huntington's disease and 7 normal age-matched controls with positron emission tomography (PET) using fluorodeoxyglucose. Subjects had little or no caudate nucleus atrophy and had not received any medications. The results demonstrated that hypometabolism of glucose preceded tissue loss. Furthermore, patients with minimal neurologic or psychiatric symptoms and no obvious CT changes may be differentiated from normal persons with high accuracy by PET. PET is helpful in the early diagnosis of Huntington's disease irrespective of the mode of presentation. PET may also be useful for preclinical detection and may supplement information from DNA studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caudate Nucleus / diagnostic imaging
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / diagnostic imaging
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thalamus / diagnostic imaging
  • Thalamus / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose