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PhD ceremony Ms. L.K. Teune: Glucose metabolic patterns in neurodegenerative brain diseases

When:We 08-05-2013 at 16:15

PhD ceremony: Ms. L.K. Teune, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Glucose metabolic patterns in neurodegenerative brain diseases

Promotor(s): prof. K.L. Leenders, prof. R.A.J.O. Dierckx

Faculty: Medical Sciences

Neurodegenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) are brain diseases with a slowly progressive degeneration of neurons in particular brain areas. The differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative brain diseases on clinical grounds only may be difficult, especially at an early stage. In order to differentiate between neurodegenerative brain diseases, an [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET scan could be of great assistance. It uses the radiotracer FDG (glucose) and reflects the energy needs of underlying brain neuronal systems because glucose is the only source of energy for the brain. The detected disease-related metabolic brain patterns using FDG-PET reflect the underlying pathological alterations of the affected brain regions and are different for each neurodegenerative brain disease. The main aim of this thesis was to investigate differences in glucose metabolism in neurodegenerative brain diseases. Furthermore, specific analysis techniques which can assist in the applicability of these brain patterns in clinical practice were investigated. A multivariate statistical analysis technique, called SSM/PCA, can identify relationships in relatively increased and decreased metabolic activity between different brain regions in patients and controls. Disease-specific patterns for PD, MSA and PSP were identified and highly discriminative of the three disorders. Besides group comparisons, the SSM/PCA method can quantify the expression of a covariance pattern in an individual patient. The obtained subject score indicates to what extent that individual patient expresses the disease-related pattern. These metabolic brain patterns can be a valuable aid in the differential diagnosis of individual patients with neurodegenerative brain diseases.