Correlation of neuropsychological evaluation and SPECT imaging in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Yair Lampl*, Menahem Sadeh, Olga Laker, Mordechai Lorberboym

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a very useful tool for diagnosing changes in cognitive functions by the general practitioner or other medical staff who is not familiar with neuropsychological tests. On the other hand, HMPAO brain SPECT has been shown to have a high sensitivity to detect neurodegenerative processes, which lead to dementia. The correlation between both methods is unknown. We compared both methods in order to find a rational evaluation tool for the practitioner to obtain a higher efficacy and cost effective way of using both methods. Patients and methods: Fifty-one patients diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease (AD) were examined. Each patient underwent MMSE analysis, as well as HMPAO brain SPECT. The severity of SPECT abnormalities was categorized into mild, moderate and severe. Statistical analysis was performed in order to evaluate the correlation between imaging findings and neuropsychological testing. Results: Marginal inverse correlation was found between global MMSE SPECT imaging on right and left side (p = 0.05) and the left temporal region (p = 0.05). MMSE subgroup component of orientation was highly significantly inversely associated with SPECT imaging of right and left frontal region (p > 0.0001). The MMSE subgroup of immediate memory was significantly correlated to left and right temporal regions (p = 0.001 and p = 0.002 respectively). Age was not significantly correlated to global MMSE or any of its subtest components. Conclusion: MMSE score has no linear correlation to SPECT perfusion findings. In cases of abnormal orientation score subgroup SPECT imaging is not recommended. In most instances, a combination of both methods should be employed by the general practitioner for further evaluation of dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-291
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • MMSE


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