99mTc-HM-PAO single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was used to image 30 patients referred for the assessment of dementia. SPECT images revealed various patterns of regional cerebral perfusion (rCBF) in the subgroups of patients with the clinical diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 14), Pick's disease (n = 1), and multi-infarct dementia (n = 7). In three patients, SPECT clarified the clinical differential diagnostic possibilities. Using a relative rCBF quantification technique, the relationship between specific cognitive impairments and rCBF in the AD patients was determined. There was a significant correlation between language impairment and left hemisphere hypoperfusion, whereas, apraxia correlated with hypoperfusion in the left parietal region. Thus, HM-PAO SPECT is useful as an aid in the differential diagnosis of dementia and the technique of relative rCBF quantification with SPECT may contribute to the understanding of the clinico-anatomical relations of cognitive deficits in dementia.