Computed tomography and positron emission transaxial tomography evaluations of normal aging and Alzheimer's disease
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Young normal subjects, old normal subjects, and patients with senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type (SDAT) were studied with both computed tomography (CT) and positron emission transaxial tomography (PETT). Increases in ventricular size with both aging and disease were measured. Regional glucose metabolic rate was not affected by age, but was markedly reduced in SDAT patients. These data indicate that in normal aging, structural brain changes may be more salient than biochemical changes. Although both structural and biochemical changes occur in SDAT, the biochemical changes are more marked. The results suggest that PETT is potentially more useful than CT in the in vivo diagnosis of SDAT.