BACKGROUNDAlzheimer's Disease (AD) is frequently associated with changes in appetite. This study investigated the relationship between regional cerebral perfusion and appetite loss in AD.METHODS64 patients with possible or probable AD were characterized as being with (n=22) or without (n=44) appetite loss based on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Appetite subscale. 99mTc-ECD SPECT scans were coregistered to a standardized template in Talairach space generating mean ratios of uptake referenced to the cerebellum. Regions of interest (ROIs) included anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), middle mesial temporal cortex (MTC-m), inferior mesial temporal cortex (MTC-i), insula (INS), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and thalamus-hypothalamus (THAL).RESULTSBackward stepwise logistic regression analysis of these ROIs showed hypoperfusion in the L-ACC (p=0.015) and L-OFC (p=0.015), relative sparing of perfusion in the R-ACC (p=0.010), R-OFC (p=0.010) and L-MTC-m (p=0.006), and greater anxiety (p=0.005) independently predicted loss of appetite (chi(2)=22.24, p=0.001, Nagelkerke R(2)=0.41).CONCLUSIONSHypoperfusion in the left anterior cingulate and left orbitofrontal cortices, and relative sparing of perfusion in the right anterior cingulate, right orbitofrontal and left middle mesial temporal cortices emerged as predictors of appetite loss in this sample of patients. These findings are consistent with impairments in the extrinsic motivational pathways of eating and impaired reward value of food as components of appetite loss in AD.