MRS shows abnormalities before symptoms in familial Alzheimer disease
ABSTRACT Pathologic change in Alzheimer disease (AD) begins some years before symptoms. MRS has the potential to detect metabolic abnormalities reflecting this early pathologic change. Presenilin 1 (PS1) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) mutation carriers have a nearly 100% risk of developing AD and may be studied prior to symptom onset.
Short echo time proton MR spectra were acquired from a midline posterior cingulate voxel in presymptomatic carriers of PS1 or APP mutations ("presymptomatic mutation carriers" [PMCs]; n = 7) and age- and sex-matched control subjects (n = 6). Ratios of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), myo-inositol (MI), and choline-containing compounds (Cho) to creatine (Cr) were measured and NAA/MI calculated. Regression analyses and t tests were performed after log transformation.
PMC and control subjects were matched for age and sex. PMC subjects were 1.7 to 21.6 years (mean 9.8 years) before expected symptom onset, predicted from family-specific mean age at onset. Age did not significantly affect metabolite ratios. Geometric mean ratios in control subjects were as follows: NAA/Cr = 1.75, MI/Cr = 0.59, and NAA/MI = 2.95. NAA/Cr and NAA/MI were significantly reduced in PMC relative to controls (NAA/Cr mean decrease 10% [95% CI 2 to 18%]; NAA/MI mean decrease 25% [95% CI 3 to 44%]). MI/Cr was increased in PMC, but the differences did not achieve significance (19% increase [95% CI 1% decrease to 41% increase]; p = 0.07)). In PMCs, reduction in NAA/MI (p = 0.001) and MI/Cr (p = 0.002) were related to proximity of expected age at onset.
Metabolic changes are detectable in presymptomatic mutation carriers years before expected onset of Alzheimer disease. Their magnitude is related to proximity of expected age at onset.
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ABSTRACT: Single-volume proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) has considerable diagnostic potential for Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study investigated 1H MRS in specific regions of the brain, the posterior cingulate gyri (PCG) and the hippocampus, in patients with AD, amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and in normal control subjects. 1H MRS analysis was carried out on 47 patients with AD, 32 patients with aMCI and 56 normal control subjects (NC group). Volumes of the PCG and hippocampus were assessed, and the metabolic signals of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline compounds (Cho), myo-inositol (mI), and creatine (Cr) were quantified. In the PCG, differences between the test groups were found in NAA/Cr, Cho/Cr, mI/Cr and NAA/mI ratios. Group differences were also found in mI/Cr and NAA/mI ratios in the left hippocampus, and in mI/Cr and NAA/mI ratios in the right hippocampus. NAA/Cr ratios increased in the PCG between AD and aMCI patients, and between aMCI and NC patients. Conversely, mI/Cr ratios in the PCG and left hippocampus decreased across AD, aMCI, and NC subjects. In discriminate and ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) analyses, a NAA/Cr ratio of ≤ 1.50 in the PCG indicated optimal potential for discriminating between aMCI patients and normal control subjects. Discriminating potential was also found to be high for a NAA/mI ratio in the PCG of ≤ 2.72. Despite significant differences between NC and aMCI patients in the mI/Cr ratio in the PCG and in the NAA/mI ratio in the left hippocampus, their sensitivity and specificity were all lower than 75%. Proton MRS of the PCG using the NAA/Cr ratio as a metabolic marker indicates considerable potential for distinguishing between aMCI and NC subjects.International Psychogeriatrics 06/2011; 24(1):19-27. DOI:10.1017/S1041610211000962 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Short echo time localized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides quantification of brain metabolites, including N-acetyl-aspartate, myo-inositol, creatine/phosphocreatine and choline-containing compounds, which may be useful biomarkers for monitoring Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to quantify the rate of metabolite change in Alzheimer's disease, to assess factors influencing changes and to investigate the potential for serial magnetic resonance spectroscopy as an Alzheimer's disease trial biomarker. A total of 42 patients and 22 controls each had up to six magnetic resonance spectroscopy examinations over a 2-year period, using a midline posterior cingulate single-voxel point resolved spectroscopy sequence (1.5 T; time to repetition = 2000 ms; echo time = 30 ms; 192 averages). Metabolite ratios N-acetyl-aspartate:creatine/phosphocreatine, choline-containing compounds:creatine/phosphocreatine, and myo-inositol:creatine/phosphocreatine were measured using online software (PROBE-Q) and the N-acetyl-aspartate:myo-inositol ratio was derived. Baseline ratios were compared between patients and controls. A linear mixed model was used to quantify longitudinal changes and extended to assess the effect of age, disease severity and baseline use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Patients and controls were matched for age (patients: 68.9 ± 7.2 years; controls: 69.1 ± 6.7 years); 71% of the patients were on acetylcholinesterase inhibitors at baseline; mean Mini-Mental State Examination for patients was 19.4 ± 4.1. A total of 307 spectra were acquired. In cross-sectional analyses, patients were significantly different from controls for N-acetyl-aspartate:creatine/phosphocreatine (11% lower, P < 0.001), N-acetyl-aspartate:myo-inositol (24% lower, P < 0.001), and myo-inositol:creatine/phosphocreatine (17% higher, P < 0.001). After adjustment for N-acetyl-aspartate:myo-inositol, none of the other variables differed significantly. In patients there was significant decline in N-acetyl-aspartate:creatine/phosphocreatine (mean: 2.2%/year; 95% confidence interval: 0.9-3.5) and N-acetyl-aspartate:myo-inositol (mean: 3.7%/year; 95% confidence interval: 1.7-5.7), with no evidence for influence by age, disease severity or acetylcholinesterase inhibitor use. There was significant excess decline in patients compared with controls only in N-acetyl-aspartate:myo-inositol (mean: 3.6%/year; 95% confidence interval: 0.8-6.4; P = 0.014). Between-subject standard deviation for N-acetyl-aspartate:myo-inositol was 0% for controls and 3.5%/year for patients; within-subject standard deviation for a 1 year, two-time-point study was 9.2%/year for both patients and controls. These results confirm that magnetic resonance spectroscopy can be used to quantify excess metabolite decline in Alzheimer's disease, which may provide a useful measure of disease progression. We found no evidence that age, disease severity or acetylcholinesterase inhibitor use influenced rate of decline, although numbers were small. The substantial variability in longitudinal measurements that drives sample size requirements is principally within-subject and technique related: technical developments to reduce this variability may make serial magnetic resonance spectroscopy a viable biomarker in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease.Brain 11/2010; 133(11):3315-22. DOI:10.1093/brain/awq208 · 10.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Persons with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have subtle impairments in medical decision-making capacity (MDC). We examined the relationship between proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and MDC in MCI. Twenty-nine MCI patients and 42 controls underwent MRS to obtain ratios of N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/Creatine (Cr), Choline (Cho)/Cr, and myo-Inositol (mI)/Cr of the posterior cingulate. They also completed the Capacity to Consent to Treatment Instrument (CCTI), a vignette-based instrument measuring decisional standards of expressing choice, appreciating consequences of choice, providing rational reasons for choice, and understanding treatment choices. Patients showed abnormal MRS ratios of mI/Cr and Cho/Cr compared to controls, and impairments on the CCTI understanding and reasoning Standards. Performance on the reasoning standard of the CCTI was correlated with NAA/Cr (r = .46, p < .05). The relationship of NAA/Cr with decision-making suggests a role for posterior cortical neuronal functioning in performance of complex IADLs in MCI.Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition 04/2010; 17(4):492-504. DOI:10.1080/13825581003646135 · 1.07 Impact Factor