Objective: An important advance has been made with the identification of MCI as a probable link between normal aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. Early identification of a person with MCI through a biological marker would permit early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention.
Objectives: The purpose of this investigation was to assess the brain metabolites in both hippocampi of patients with MCI using a modified (0.5T) H-MRS technique.
Design: The study was blind to the radiologist measuring the MRS peaks.
Materials and Methods: We measured absolute concentrations and ratios to creatine of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA/Cr), Myoinositol(MI/Cr), Glutamate (GLX/Cr), and Choline (Cho/Cr) in the hippocampi of 6 MCI patients and 5 controls. Because creatine is stable over time and among conditions, we used it as an internal standard
Results: The N-acetyl aspartate concentrations were significantly lower in the left hippocampus in MCI patients compared to control subjects (p=0.01). Myoinositol concentrations were significantly higher in right hippocampus (p=0.02) in MCI patients compared to control subjects. The ratios of Myol/NAA were significantly higher in right and left hippocampus of MCI patients compared to controls ( p =0.01 and 0.03 respectively) Neither choline nor creatine concentrations were different between MCI and controls. There was no significant difference in GLX concentrations in the hippocampus of MCI patients compared to control subjects. Water concentrations did not differ between the two groups, indicating that there was no difference in fractional CSF volume with the spectroscopic measurements. None of the measured metabolites concentrations correlated to cognitive status.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that during the pathologic progression of MCI there is an increase of MI and decrease of NAA. The decrease GLX changes reported in AD were not present in MCI patients. This suggests that GLX abnormalities are a later event in the physiopathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
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