2010 Volume 49 Issue 4 Pages 283-287
Objective As the pathophysiology of alcohol-related dementia (ARD) is unclear, we examined a patient with reversible ARD using neuropsychological tests and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET).
Methods Design: A five-year follow-up case study with neuropsychological tests and FDG-PET. Setting: Kyoto University Hospital.
Patients A 42-year-old patient who was unable to perform his office duties because of slowly progressive amnesia with executive dysfunction.
Results The initial evaluation with neuropsychological tests showed severe verbal memory disturbance. The patient did not discuss his excessive alcohol consumption in the initial history-taking session and thiamine deficiency was absent; therefore, early-stage Alzheimer's disease was suspected. Later, the patient revealed prior excessive alcohol intake and his cognitive function improved markedly after a period of abstinence. Retrospective analysis of initial FDG-PET images using a voxel-wise statistical method revealed glucose hypometabolism in the diencephalon and basal forebrain. Follow-up for 5 years after the initial evaluation showed improved cognitive function and recovery of glucose metabolism in the two brain regions.
Conclusion Hypofunction in the diencephalon and basal forebrain was associated with cognitive decline in our patient. This case may provide evidence for the etiopathic brain regions in reversible type ARD.