Single voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3 Tesla in a memory disorders clinic: early right hippocampal NAA/Cr loss in mildly impaired subjects

Psychiatry Res. 2008 Nov 30;164(2):154-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2008.04.002. Epub 2008 Oct 19.


In this study, we use magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) at 3 Tesla to measure N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), myo-inositol (mI) and choline (Cho) to creatine (Cr) ratios in R (right) and L (left) hippocampi (H) in 8 mildly memory impaired (MMI), 6 probable Alzheimer's Disease (PRAD), and 17 control subjects. NAA/Cr was significantly reduced in the RH in the MMI group and bilaterally in the PRAD group vs. controls. No other metabolite differences were noted between the three groups. Five MMI subjects have converted to PRAD in follow-up. These findings suggest that RH NAA/Cr ratios measured at 3 Tesla may be a sensitive marker of future progression to dementia in a clinically defined population with isolated memory complaints.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism
  • Choline / metabolism
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Inositol / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Aspartic Acid
  • Inositol
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Creatine
  • Choline