P.E.T. Study of Human Brain Metabolism in Aging and Dementia

  • P. Bustany
  • M. Moulin
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 9)


A presumed underlying pathological state in diseases of the nervous system should be, as far as possible, a guide for the research of an efficient therapy. Positron Emission Tomography (P.E.T.) provides a powerful and unique method for the quantitative evaluation of human brain metabolism (LAMMERTSMA et al., 1985; HEISS et al., 1986). Two opposite aspects of neuronal biochemistry are assessable by mean of this technique: 1) A rapidly changing metabolism of oxygen or glucose, responsible for the energy supply of the cells according to their firing rate and thus, their functionnal activation (REIVICH et al., 1983; CHASE et al., 1984; DUARA et al., 1984; RIEGE et al., 1985); 2) A very stable and regular metabolism of certain particular essential amino-acids involved almost exclusively in neuronal protein synthesis (P.S.) (BUSTANY et al., 1985b; INGVAR et al., 1984) which controls the tissular peculiarities of the nervous system such as its long-term maintenance of synaptical contacts and remodeling abilities (MANN et al., 1981b, 1982; MAKRIDES et al., 1983). With such a method, it is possible to measure the chronic capacity of the brain to maintain its cellular integrity and its tissue structures (dendro-axonic synapses, cell shapes, …) which are the macroscopic basis of brain functioning during aging (GIBSON et al., 1983) and mental illnesses such as Alzheimer type senile dementia (S.D.A.T.) (TERRY et al., 1981).


Positron Emission Tomography Senile Dementia Cerebral Glucose Utilization Aging Human Brain Brain Protein Synthesis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Bustany
    • 1
  • M. Moulin
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PharmacologyCHRUCAEN CedexFrance

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