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Ann Neurol. 1995 Feb;37(2):204-10.

Differentiation of multiple system atrophy from idiopathic Parkinson's disease using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

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Department of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.


Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, localized to the lentiform nucleus, was carried out in 7 patients with the pure or predominantly striatonigral variant (SND) of multiple system atrophy (MSA), 5 patients with the olivopontocerebellar variant of MSA, 9 patients with a clinical diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD), and 9 healthy age-matched controls. The MSA group with predominantly striatonigral involvement showed a significant reduction in the N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/creatine ratio (median, 1.19; range, 0.96-2.0; p < 0.02) compared with the NAA/creatine ratio from the control group (median, 1.76; range, 1.61-2.0). In contrast, the IPD group had a normal NAA/creatine ratio (median, 1.82; range, 1.19-2.31; p > 0.05). The NAA/creatine ratio was markedly reduced in 6 of the SND patients and in only 1 IPD patient. The choline/creatine ratio was also significantly lower in the SND group (median, 1.02; range, 0.91-1.23; p < 0.04) compared with the control group (median, 1.22; range, 1.05-1.65). The IPD group showed a normal lentiform choline/creatine ratio (median, 1.13; range, 0.89-1.65; p = 0.25) compared with controls. The olivopontocerebellar group also showed a significant reduction in the NAA/creatine ratio from the lentiform nucleus (median, 1.47; range, 1.22-1.68; p < 0.01) compared with the controls as well as a nonsignificant reduction in the choline/creatine ratio (median, 0.93; range, 0.85-1.27; p < 0.4).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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