Age-associated memory loss: initial neuropsychological and cerebral metabolic findings of a longitudinal study

Int Psychogeriatr. Spring 1994;6(1):23-44; discussion 60-2. doi: 10.1017/s1041610294001596.


To determine the relationships between clinical and brain function in persons with a familial risk for Alzheimer's disease, the authors assessed subjective and objective cognitive abilities, mood state, and cerebral glucose metabolism (using positron emission tomography) in 43 persons with age-associated memory impairment, with and without first-degree relatives with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Subjective complaints of memory loss, mood state ratings, and objective memory measures were similar in persons with a family history of Alzheimer's disease (n = 29) compared to those without such a history (n = 14). Metabolic ratios in the frontal regions correlated with a decrease in a specific type of subjective memory complaint (mnemonics usage; p < .001) and some mood state ratings. These results indicate that parietal and temporal hypometabolism is not evident in persons with mild age-related memory complaints, even when such subjects have a familial risk for Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, self-reports of mnemonics usage may be sensitive indicators of decreased frontal lobe function. Longitudinal study will determine whether such clinical and metabolic measures will predict eventual disease progression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed