Metabolic changes in the normal ageing brain: Consistent findings from short and long echo time proton spectroscopy

S. Gruber, K. Pinker, F. Riederer, M. Chmelík, A. Stadlbauer, M. Bittšanský, V. Mlynárik, R. Frey, W. Serles, O. Bodamer, E. Moser

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Abstract

Objectives: Sixty three healthy subjects were measured to assess dependence of brain metabolites on age using short- and long echo time spectroscopy in different brain regions. Material and methods: Younger and elderly humans were measured with long echo time (TE = 135 ms) 3D-MR-spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) (10 subjects) and with ultra-short echo (TE = 11 ms) time 2D-MRSI (7 subjects). In addition, results from single voxel 1H-spectroscopy (TE = 20 ms) of two cohorts of 46 healthy subjects were retrospectively correlated with age. Results: 3D-MR SI revealed reduced NAA/Cr in the older group in the frontal lobe (-22%; p < 0.01), parietal lobe (-28%; p < 0.01) and semiovale (-9%; p < 0.01) compared to the younger group. Cho/Cr was elevated in the semiovale (+35%; p < 0.01) and in the n. lentiformis (+42%; p < 0.01) in the older group. NAA/Cho was reduced in all regions measured, except the thalamus, in the older group compared to the younger group (from -21 to -49%; p < 0.01). 2D-MRSI revealed decreased total NAA (-3.1% per decade; p < 0.01) and NAA/Cr (-3.8% per decade; p < 0.01), increased total Cho (+3.6% per decade; p < 0.01) and Cho/Cr (+4.6% per decade; p < 0.01) and increased total myo-Inositol (mI, +4.7% per decade; p < 0.01) and mI/Cr (+5.4% per decade; p < 0.01) and decreased NAA/Cho (-8% per decade; p < 0.01) in semiovale WM. Results from single voxel spectroscopy revealed a significantly negative correlation of NAA/Cho in frontal (-13% per decade; p < 0.01) and in temporal lobe (-7.4% per decade; p < 0.01) as well as increased total Cr (10% per decade; p < 0.01) in frontal lobe. Other results from single voxel measurements were not significant, but trends were comparable to that from multivoxel spectroscopy. Conclusion: Age-related changes measured with long echo time and short echo time 1H-MRS were comparable and cannot, therefore, be caused by different T2 relaxation times in young and old subjects, as suggested previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-327
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

Keywords

  • 3 Tesla
  • Ageing brain
  • Normal healthy brain
  • Proton MRS
  • Spectroscopic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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    Gruber, S., Pinker, K., Riederer, F., Chmelík, M., Stadlbauer, A., Bittšanský, M., Mlynárik, V., Frey, R., Serles, W., Bodamer, O., & Moser, E. (2008). Metabolic changes in the normal ageing brain: Consistent findings from short and long echo time proton spectroscopy. European Journal of Radiology, 68(2), 320-327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2007.08.038