Single-Voxel 1 H MR spectroscopy of cerebral nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) in humans at 7T using a 32-channel volume coil

Magn Reson Med. 2020 Mar;83(3):806-814. doi: 10.1002/mrm.27971. Epub 2019 Sep 10.


Purpose: Reliable monitoring of tissue nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) concentration may provide insights on its roles in normal and pathological aging. In the present study, we report a 1 H MRS pulse sequence for the in vivo, localized 1 H MRS detection of NAD+ from the human brain.

Methods: Studies were carried out on a 7T Siemens MRI scanner using a 32-channel product volume coil. The pulse sequence consisted of a spectrally selective low bandwidth E-BURP-1 90° pulse. PRESS localization was achieved using optimized Shinnar-Le Roux 180° pulses and overlapping gradients were used to minimize the TE. The reproducibility of NAD+ quantification was measured in 11 healthy volunteers. The association of cerebral NAD+ with age was assessed in 16 healthy subjects 26-78 years old.

Results: Spectra acquired from a voxel placed in subjects' occipital lobe consisted of downfield peaks from the H2 , H4 , and H6 protons of the nicotinamide moiety of NAD+ between 8.9-9.35 ppm. The mean ± SD within-session and between-session coefficients of variation were found to be 6.14 ± 2.03% and 6.09 ± 3.20%, respectively. In healthy volunteers, an age-dependent decline of the NAD+ levels in the brain was also observed (β = -1.24 μM/y, SE = 0.21, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: We demonstrated the feasibility and robustness of a newly developed 1 H MRS technique to measure localized cerebral NAD+ at 7T MRI using a commercially available RF head coil. This technique may be further applied to detect and quantify NAD+ from different regions of the brain as well as from other tissues.

Keywords: 1H MRS; E-BURP-1; NAD+; aging; brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Gray Matter / diagnostic imaging
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • NAD / chemistry*
  • Occipital Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Protons
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging


  • Protons
  • NAD