Scientific article

Proton MRS of the unilateral substantia nigra in the human brain at 4 tesla: detection of high GABA concentrations

Published inMagnetic resonance in medicine, vol. 55, no. 2, p. 296-301
Publication date2006

Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN), the cause of which is unknown. Characterization of early SN pathology could prove beneficial in the treatment and diagnosis of PD. The present study shows that with the use of short-echo (5 ms) Stimulated-Echo Acquisition Mode (STEAM) spectroscopy and LCModel, a neurochemical profile consisting of 10 metabolites, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate (Glu), and glutathione (GSH), can be measured from the unilateral SN at 4 tesla. The neurochemical profile of the SN is unique and characterized by a fourfold higher GABA/Glu ratio compared to the cortex, in excellent agreement with established neurochemistry. The presence of elevated GABA levels in SN was validated with the use of editing, suggesting that partial volume effects were greatly reduced. These findings establish the feasibility of obtaining a neurochemical profile of the unilateral human SN by single-voxel spectroscopy in small volumes.

  • Aspartic Acid/analogs & derivatives/metabolism
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Glutamic Acid/metabolism
  • Glutathione/chemistry
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/methods
  • Parkinson Disease/metabolism
  • Protons
  • Substantia Nigra/metabolism
  • Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/metabolism
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
OZ, Gülin et al. Proton MRS of the unilateral substantia nigra in the human brain at 4 tesla: detection of high GABA concentrations. In: Magnetic resonance in medicine, 2006, vol. 55, n° 2, p. 296–301. doi: 10.1002/mrm.20761
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0740-3194

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