(99mTc)-HM-PAO SPECT and cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease: a comparison with dementia of the Alzheimer type.
Regional cerebral perfusion was evaluated by single photon emission tomography (SPECT) using (99mTc)-HM-PAO as a tracer, in thirty Parkinsonian patients with (n = 15) or without (n = 15) dementia, nineteen patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and thirteen control subjects. HM-PAO uptake was measured in the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital cortex and tracer perfusion was expressed as cortical/cerebellar activity ratios. Regional HM-PAO ratios in nondemented Parkinsonian patients did not differ from controls, whereas in demented patients with Parkinson's disease (DPD) a significant reduction was found in the parietal, temporal and occipital cortex. Tracer uptake ratios were significantly reduced in all regions in the DAT group. Thus DPD and DAT shared a common pattern of marked posterior hypoperfusion, although the perfusion defect was greater and more extensive in the DAT patients.