Positron emission tomography (PET) in Machado-Joseph disease

J Neurol Sci. 1997 Jan;145(1):63-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(96)00242-0.


Positron emission tomography studies on the regional cerebral glucose metabolism (rCMRglc) and 18F-fluorodopa (18F-Dopa) uptake were performed in 3 patients with Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), a dominantly inherited degenerative disease in the cerebellum, brainstem and basal ganglia. The rCMRglc in MJD was found to be significantly decreased in the cerebellum, brainstem, striatum and whole cerebral cortex in comparison to that in normal subjects. These results of rCMRglc were different from those for dominantly inherited olivopontocerebellar atrophy (dOPCA) or cerebellar cortical degeneration (CCD), however they were similar to those for sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy (sOPCA) and multiple system atrophy (MSA). The 18F-Dopa uptake in MJD was found to be significantly decreased in the putamen and relatively spared in the caudate, which was different from that of MSA. In addition, these results indicate that MJD showed a dysfunction, not only in the regions with apparent pathological involvement such as cerebellum, brainstem and nigro-striatal dopaminergic system, but also in the cerebral cortex and the striatum where no pathology could be observed using conventional morphological techniques.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Machado-Joseph Disease / diagnosis*
  • Machado-Joseph Disease / metabolism
  • Machado-Joseph Disease / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies / diagnosis
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Glucose
  • Dopamine