Brain N-acetylaspartate is reduced in Parkinson disease with dementia

Academic Article


  • Persons with Parkinson disease (PD) are at risk of developing dementia. Of the dementias affecting patients with PD, PD with dementia (PDD) is not well understood, although brain imaging studies to date have observed characteristic patterns of brain atrophy. Metabolic differences have been observed in magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies comparing patients with PDD to nondemented PD patients, although it is unclear whether PDD patients have abnormally low MRS ratios compared with healthy age-matched adults. In this study, 12 patients with PDD, 12 patients with PD and no dementia, and 12 age-matched healthy older adults underwent MRS of the posterior cingulate gyrus. Patients with PDD showed lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine (NAA/Cr) compared with controls (P=0.004) and compared with nondemented PD patients (P=0.003). No abnormalities were observed in choline/Cr or myo-Inositol/Cr. NAA/Cr was correlated with mental status in patients with PD and in patients with PDD (r=0.56; P=0.029). The findings suggest that reduced NAA/Cr of the posterior cingulate could be used as a marker for dementia in patients with PD. Future studies investigating the utility of brain MRS as a predictor of dementia in PD and comparing brain metabolism in PDD with other dementias seem warranted. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Griffith HR; Den Hollander JA; Okonkwo OC; O'Brien T; Watts RL; Marson DC
  • Start Page

  • 54
  • End Page

  • 60
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 1