Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) provides a non-invasive, in vivo insight into the brain metabolism, and has been successfully used in several neurological conditions. Our objective was to characterise the cerebral metabolic changes in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) patients using (1)H-MRS. Single Voxel (1)H-MRS was performed in 12 DLB patients with mild to moderate symptoms and 11 age-matched healthy controls. Volumes of interest (VOI) were selected, including white matter (WM) in the centrum semiovale and grey matter (GM) in the parasagittal parietal cortex. Main metabolic peaks corresponding to N-acetylaspartate (NAA), glutamate/glutamine (Glx), choline-containing compounds (Cho), myo-inositol (Ins), and creatine plus phosphocreatine (Cr) were identified. These areas were measured and referred to that of the water. Metabolic ratios among the different peak areas were also calculated. In comparison with the control group, DLB patients showed significantly lower mean NAA/Cr, Glx1/Cr and Cho/Cr ratios in the WM, while their Ins/Cr and Ins/NAA ratios did not differ from those of the control group. In the GM, no significant differences were found between both groups. Correlations between age at onset, disease duration, Mini-Mental State Examination, the motor section of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, Hoehn and Yahr staging and metabolic ratios, both for WM and GM, were not significant in DLB patients. Our spectroscopy data show WM involvement, along with GM preservation, in DLB patients with early or intermediate stages. Hence, (1)H-MRS may provide adjunctive information in the ante-mortem diagnosis of DLB.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel