No change in striatal glutamate in Huntington's disease measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

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The combined caudate head and anterior putamen of six patients with Huntington's disease (HD) was studied by quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and the spectra compared with those from a group of six age-matched normal subjects. The concentrations of the three major metabolites, choline, creatine and N-acetylaspartate (NAA), were quantified using tissue water as an internal concentration reference. Glutamate concentration was assessed as the (glutamate+glutamine)/creatine peak area ratio (Glx/Cre). In normal subjects the mean (+/-SD) concentrations of the three metabolites were 1.8+/-0.4mumol/g wet weight for choline, 11.9+/-1.4 for creatine and 14.1+/-2.4 for NAA. The ratio Glx/Cre was 1.3+/-0.3. The concentrations of both creatine and NAA were significantly lower in the striatum of patients with HD, 8.9+/-1.5 and 12.1+/-1.5 respectively. There was, however, no difference in choline concentration or in the Glx/Cre ratio, 1.7+/-0.4 and 1.6+/-0.5 respectively. The results are discussed in relation to the mechanism of neuronal loss in HD.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-7
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998