Proton spectroscopy of human brain: effects of age and sex

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1994 Oct;18(6):995-1004. doi: 10.1016/0278-5846(94)90125-2.


1. The present study was done to assess the brain metabolites measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in normal individuals. 2. Proton spectroscopy STEAM voxel technique with chemical shift imaging was used to provide localized metabolic information from the brains of 34 normal volunteers (15 males) between the ages of 21 and 75 years. 3. Choline, Creatine and N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) was lower in white matter than gray matter. Choline/NAA and choline/creatine ratios were also lower in white matter. The choline, creatine and NAA were lower in older subjects in the voxel representing cortical and subcortical gray matter. There were no differences between males and females. 4. This preliminary study suggests that age matching is essential for comparative studies of disease states using proton MRS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Choline / metabolism
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Creatine
  • Choline