Positron emission tomographic (PET) data on local cerebral metabolic rates for glucose (LCMR) are reported for 32 regions of interest (ROI)s in cross-sectional studies on 57 patients with clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 20 neurologically normal controls, and in serial studies on 13 of the AD cases, including a familial, young-onset case where the diagnosis has been confirmed at autopsy. Extensive psychological testing was done on all the AD cases. Almost all cortical regions showed a significant decline in LCMR with age in the control subjects. There were the expected cortical metabolic deficits in AD and the serial studies showed a general increase in such deficits over time in 12 of the 13 cases. The regions showing the greatest declines with time in serial studies are the same as those showing the most severe deficiencies in cross-sectional studies. The young-onset case did not show a greater rate of metabolic decline than many of the older cases studied. Results on individual psychological tests tended to correlate with metabolic rates in multiple, rather than single, cortical regions, suggesting intact neuronal networks are required for good performance. The correlations with cortical metabolic activity found were of a sign indicating that the higher the metabolic rates and the better the left:right asymmetry index, the better was the performance.