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Low episodic memory performance in cognitively normal elderly subjects is associated with increased posterior cingulate gray matter N-acetylaspartate: a (1)H MRSI study at 7 Tesla


Schreiner, Simon J; Kirchner, Thomas; Wyss, Michael; Van Bergen, Jiri M G; Quevenco, Frances C; Steininger, Stefanie C; Griffith, Erica Y; Meier, Irene; Michels, Lars; Gietl, Anton F; Leh, Sandra E; Brickman, Adam M; Hock, Christoph; Nitsch, Roger M; Pruessmann, Klaas P; Henning, Anke; Unschuld, Paul G (2016). Low episodic memory performance in cognitively normal elderly subjects is associated with increased posterior cingulate gray matter N-acetylaspartate: a (1)H MRSI study at 7 Tesla. Neurobiology of Aging, 48:195-203.

Abstract

Low episodic memory performance characterizes elderly subjects at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may reflect neuronal dysfunction within the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus (PCP) region. To investigate a potential association between cerebral neurometabolism and low episodic memory in the absence of cognitive impairment, tissue-specific magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging at ultrahigh field strength of 7 Tesla was used to investigate the PCP region in a healthy elderly study population (n = 30, age 70 ± 5.7 years, Mini-Mental State Examination 29.4 ± 4.1). The Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) was administered as part of a neuropsychological battery for assessment of episodic memory performance. Significant differences between PCP gray and white matter could be observed for glutamate-glutamine (p = 0.001), choline (p = 0.01), and myo-inositol (p = 0.02). Low Verbal Learning and Memory Test performance was associated with high N-acetylaspartate in PCP gray matter (p = 0.01) but not in PCP white matter. Our data suggest that subtle decreases in episodic memory performance in the elderly may be associated with increased levels of N-acetylaspartate as a reflection of increased mitochondrial energy capacity in PCP gray matter.

Abstract

Low episodic memory performance characterizes elderly subjects at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may reflect neuronal dysfunction within the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus (PCP) region. To investigate a potential association between cerebral neurometabolism and low episodic memory in the absence of cognitive impairment, tissue-specific magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging at ultrahigh field strength of 7 Tesla was used to investigate the PCP region in a healthy elderly study population (n = 30, age 70 ± 5.7 years, Mini-Mental State Examination 29.4 ± 4.1). The Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) was administered as part of a neuropsychological battery for assessment of episodic memory performance. Significant differences between PCP gray and white matter could be observed for glutamate-glutamine (p = 0.001), choline (p = 0.01), and myo-inositol (p = 0.02). Low Verbal Learning and Memory Test performance was associated with high N-acetylaspartate in PCP gray matter (p = 0.01) but not in PCP white matter. Our data suggest that subtle decreases in episodic memory performance in the elderly may be associated with increased levels of N-acetylaspartate as a reflection of increased mitochondrial energy capacity in PCP gray matter.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:December 2016
Deposited On:06 Jan 2017 07:46
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 11:16
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0197-4580
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.08.022
PubMed ID:27718422

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