Cerebrospinal fluid lactate levels and brain [18F]FDG PET hypometabolism within the default mode network in Alzheimer’s disease

Claudio Liguori, Agostino Chiaravalloti, Giuseppe Sancesario, Alessandro Stefani, Giulia Maria Sancesario, Nicola Biagio Mercuri, Orazio Schillaci, Mariangela Pierantozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: It has been suggested that neuronal energy metabolism may be involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this view, the finding of increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lactate levels in AD patients has been considered the result of energetic metabolism dysfunction. Here, we investigated the relationship between neuronal energy metabolism, as measured via CSF lactate levels, and cerebral glucose metabolism, as stated at the 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose positron emission tomography ([18F]FDG PET) in AD patients. Methods: AD patients underwent lumbar puncture to measure CSF lactate levels and [18F]FDG PET to assess brain glucose metabolism. CSF and PET data were compared to controls. Since patients were studied at rest, we specifically investigated brain areas active in rest-condition owing to the Default Mode Network (DMN). We correlated the CSF lactate concentrations with the [18F]FDG PET data in brain areas owing to the DMN, using sex, age, disease duration, Mini Mental State Examination, and CSF levels of tau proteins and beta-amyloid as covariates. Results: AD patients (n = 32) showed a significant increase of CSF lactate levels compared to Control 1 group (n = 28). They also showed brain glucose hypometabolism in the DMN areas compared to Control 2 group (n = 30). Within the AD group we found the significant correlation between increased CSF lactate levels and glucose hypometabolism in Broadman areas (BA) owing to left medial prefrontal cortex (BA10, mPFC), left orbitofrontal cortex (BA11, OFC), and left parahippocampal gyrus (BA 35, PHG). Conclusion: We found high CSF levels of lactate and glucose hypometabolism within the DMN in AD patients. Moreover, we found a relationship linking the increased CSF lactate and the reduced glucose consumption in the left mPFC, OFC and PHG, owing to the anterior hub of DMN. These findings could suggest that neural glucose hypometabolism may affect the DMN efficiency in AD, also proposing the possible role of damaged brain energetic machine in impairing DMN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 25 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • CSF lactate
  • Default mode network
  • [18F]FDG PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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