MR spectroscopy detection of lactate and lipid signals in the brains of healthy elderly people

PE Sijens*, T den Heijer, FE de Leeuw, JC de Groot, E Achten, RJJ Heijboer, A Hofman, MMB Breteler, M Oudkerk

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to assess the presence of brain lactate and lipid signals, frequently associated with the presence of pathology, in healthy persons of 60-90 years old (n = 540). Lactate and lipid signals were observed in, respectively, 25 and 6% of women, and 18 and 2% of men. Upon adjustment for age, and for MRI-detected cerebral atrophy and white matter lesions, the gender differences in lactate and lipid remained the same (p = 0.05 and p = 0.03, respectively). Brain lactate and lipid signals appear to be intrinsic to aging. However, the presence of these metabolites in very focal areas only, rather than in any distributed fashion within the brain (the latter generally the case with cerebral atrophy and white matter lesions), strongly suggests the existence of asymptomatic focal pathology not shown on MRI.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1495-1501
    Number of pages7
    JournalEuropean Radiology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • epidemiology
    • MR imaging
    • MR spectroscopy
    • metabolism
    • neuroradiology
    • INVIVO
    • LEVEL

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