Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) share many similar aspects, and making a clinical diagnosis of one disorder over the other relies heavily on an arbitrary criterion, so-called 1-year rule. This study was designed to search for any difference of metabolic patterns in these two disorders using F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) images.
We enrolled 16 patients with PD, 13 patients with PDD, and seven patients with DLB. FDG PET was performed, and images were reconstructed by iterative reconstruction using the computed tomography (CT) images, and were normalized to a standard template. Statistical comparison between groups were performed on a voxel-by-voxel basis using t-statistics (two-sample t-test).
Compared with the patients with PD, both PDD and DLB patients showed similar patterns of decreased metabolism in bilateral inferior and medial frontal lobes, and right parietal lobe (Puncorrected < 0.001). In a direct comparison, DLB patients had significant metabolic decrease (puncorrected < 0.005) in the anterior cingulate compared with those with PDD. These findings support the concept that PDD and DLB have similar underlying neurobiological characteristics, and that they can be regarded as a spectrum of Lewy body disorders.