Functional implications of hippocampal degeneration in early Alzheimer's disease: A combined DTI and PET study

Igor Yakushev, Matthias Schreckenberger, Matthias J. Müller, Ingrid Schermuly, Paul Cumming, Peter Stoeter, Alex Gerhard, Andreas Fellgiebel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Hypometabolism of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in early Alzheimer's disease (AD) is thought to arise in part due to AD-specific neuronal damage to the hippocampal formation. Here, we explored the association between microstructural alterations within the hippocampus and whole-brain glucose metabolism in subjects with AD, also in relation to episodic memory impairment. Methods: Twenty patients with early AD (Mini-Mental State Examination 25.7±1.7) were studied with [ 18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography and diffusion tensor imaging. Episodic memory performance was assessed using the free delayed verbal recall task (DVR). Voxel-wise relative FDG uptake was correlated to diffusivity indices of the hippocampus, followed by extraction of FDG uptake values from significant clusters. Linear regression analysis was performed to test for unique contributions of diffusivity and metabolic indices in the prediction of memory function. Results: Diffusivity in the left anterior hippocampus negatively correlated with FDG uptake primarily in the left anterior hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and the PCC (p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2219-2227
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Dementia
    • Diffusion tensor imaging
    • Episodic memory
    • Mild cognitive impairment
    • Positron emission tomography
    • Posterior cingulate


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