Delusions in Alzheimer's disease: SPET evidence of right hemispheric dysfunction

Roger T. Staff, Michael F. Shanks, Laura Macintosh, Simon J. Pestell, Howard G. Gemmell, Annalena Venneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Delusional thinking and related behaviours are common symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of the study was to determine if any consistent cerebral image pattern can be identified using Tc99m-hexamethylpropyleneamine (HMPAO) SPET in AD patients with and without delusions. 18 AD patients with delusion and 15 AD patients without delusion underwent neuropsychological testing and regional cerebral blood flow imaging using Tc99m-HMPAO SPET. The reconstructed data was compared using regions of interest drawn over each cerebral lobe and a statistical parametric mapping (SPM) approach. The neuropsychological testing showed that there was no difference in the profiles of the deluded and non deluded AD patients. The imaging results showed a significant degree of image asymmetry. This took the form of a right hemisphere hypoperfusion mainly in the right frontal and limbic regions. The results do not indicate a specific focal site of hypoperfusion in the patients with delusion. They do, however, indicate that delusions in AD may be associated with areas of hypoperfusion in the right anterior hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-560
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Delusion
  • SPET
  • SPM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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