Correlations of regional cerebral metabolism with memory performance and executive function in patients with herpes encephalitis or frontal lobe lesions.
Reed LJ., Lasserson D., Marsden P., Bright P., Stanhope N., Kopelman MD.
Cerebral [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18FDG-PET) data from patients suffering amnesia following herpes encephalitis (n=7) or frontal lobe pathology (n=14) were compared with data from age-matched nonamnesic subjects (n=10). All subjects received structural MRI, resting 18FDG-PET scans, and neuropsychological evaluation. PET data were analyzed using complementary statistical parametric mapping and region-of-interest methods. Differential patterns of hypometabolism were found in patients relative to healthy controls. Factor analysis of the neuropsychological data revealed that memory performance was associated with retrosplenial and medial temporal metabolism, and executive function was associated with dorsolateral frontal metabolism. The association between memory performance and retrosplenial metabolism remained statistically significant after accounting for measures of cerebral atrophy using MRI. The significance of the retrosplenium as a major relay station between the thalamus and the medial temporal and frontal lobes--sensitive to changes in either--is discussed in the light of the findings.