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Eur J Radiol. 2012 Mar;81(3):e223-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.01.106. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Age-related differences in metabolites in the posterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus of normal ageing brain: a 1H-MRS study.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Ghent University, and Department of Psychiatry, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium. harmen.reyngoudt@ugent.be

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study age-related metabolic changes in N-acetylaspartate (NAA), total creatine (tCr), choline (Cho) and myo-inositol (Ins).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was performed in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the left hippocampus (HC) of 90 healthy subjects (42 women and 48 men aged 18-76 years, mean±SD, 48.4±16.8 years). Both metabolite ratios and absolute metabolite concentrations were evaluated. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and linear regression were used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS:

Metabolite ratios Ins/tCr and Ins/H2O were found significantly increased with age in the PCC (P<0.05 and P≤0.001, respectively), and in the HC (P<0.01 for both). An increased tCr/H2O was only observed in the PCC (P<0.01). Following absolute quantification based on the internal water signal, significantly increased concentrations of Ins and tCr in the PCC confirmed the relative findings (P<0.01 for both).

CONCLUSION:

Age-related increases of tCr and Ins are found in the PCC, whereas this holds only true for Ins in the HC, indicating possible gliosis in the ageing brain. No age-dependent NAA decreases were observed in the PCC nor the HC. The 1H-MRS results in these specific brain regions can be important to differentiate normal ageing from age-related pathologies such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease.

PMID:
21345628
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.01.106
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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