R. T. Staff, A. Venneri, H. G. Gemmell, M. F. Shanks, S. J. Pestell, A. D. Murray



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Journal of Nuclear Medicine

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Delusional behavior and thinking are common symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the past, these delusions have been considered to be psychotic complications of global neurologic dysfunction. Recently, authors have suggested that content-specific delusions in AD are associated with discrete regional abnormalities of the right hemisphere. Methods: This study compared Tc-99m-hexamethyl propyleneamine oxime (HMPAO) SPECT images of a group of AD patients with a similar autobiographic delusion with a group of AD patients without delusions and a group of AD patients with a range of delusions but without autobiographic content. The reconstructed SPECT data were compared using a statistical parametric mapping technique. Results: The autobiographic AD group had a significant area of hypoperfusion in the right frontal lobe when compared with the 2 other groups. The area of hypoperfusion included parts of Brodmann’s areas 9 and 10. Region 9 has been identified previously as having a role in episodic memory retrieval. Conclusion: This result suggests that autobiographic delusions in AD may have an identifiable neuropsychologic mechanism and that it may be possible to identify an organic cause in some patients using Tc-99m-HMPAO SPECT.