Parietal cerebral glucose metabolism is reduced before substantial impairments appeared in subjects carrying the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele, but the effect of the APOE ε4 allele on cerebral metabolism in Alzheimer disease (AD) is still undetermined. To investigate the effect of the APOE ε4 allele on cerebral metabolism in AD, we examined regional cerebral glucose metabolism in 83 patients with AD by using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography. Cerebral glucose metabolism in the fronto-parieto-temporal association and limbic cortices was significantly decreased in the AD patients compared with 26 age- and sex-matched normal controls. Regional cerebral glucose metabolic rate was not correlated significantly with the number of APOE ε4 alleles in any region, which was consistent even after controlling the effects of age, sex, and severity of dementia, and in a subgroup analysis of those aged between 60 and 75. These results supported the view that the APOE ε4 allele is not associated with specific deficits in brain metabolism in AD despite evidence of preclinical alterations.
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