A pattern of reduced cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (rCMRglc) has been shown by positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type. To verify if a similar rCMRglc pattern is present in subjects ''at risk'' for Alzheimer''s disease (AD), we used high-resolution PET to longitudinally study a subject with isolated memory impairment and a family history for autosomal dominant AD. Initial rCMRglc data did not reveal any consistent abnormality as compared to a group of sex- and age-matched healthy controls. However, 1 year later, a follow-up evaluation did reveal reduced parietal rCMRglc values coinciding with a worsening of cognitive impairment, which suggested that standard analyses of resting rCMRglc data may not be useful in the early diagnosis of AD. In contrast, when a previously determined discriminant function for distinguishing controls from AD patients was applied, the subject was correctly identified as an AD patient on both PET scans.

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