MR spectroscopy in Alzheimer's disease: gender differences in probabilistic learning capacity

Colla, M., Ende, G., Bohrer, M., Deuschle, M., Kronenberg, G., Henn, F., Heuser, I. (July 2003) MR spectroscopy in Alzheimer's disease: gender differences in probabilistic learning capacity. Neurobiology of Aging, 24 (4). pp. 545-52. ISSN 0197-4580 (Print)0197-4580 (Linking)

DOI: 10.1016/S0197-4580(02)00189-6


Degenerative alterations of cortical and subcortical regions in Alzheimer disease (AD) can be estimated by the extent of brain metabolite changes as measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI). A neuropsychological assessment may correlate with metabolite levels and could evaluate underlying degenerative processes. Probabilistic-related classification learning, which represents one form of procedural learning, is associated with the neostriatum. The present study was aimed at examining the correlation of spectroscopic imaging in subcortical regions with the evaluation of specific neuropsychological findings. Twenty-two patients with Alzheimer's disease were compared to 15 healthy elderly control subjects. Proton MRSI of the basal ganglia (BG) and thalamus region was performed for detection of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), trimethylamine (TMA) and creatine ((P)Cr). In addition, a probabilistic-related classification learning task (Weather Prediction Task (WT)) was applied. We observed that in patients a high TMA signal in the basal ganglia region was correlated with a poorer performance in the probabilistic learning task (Spearman rank order correlation (SROC)=-0.6, P<0.009). Although Alzheimer's patients, as a group, did not differ from controls with regard to probabilistic learning capacity (PLC), male AD patients, as compared to male controls, displayed an impairment in the task performance by 28% (P<0.03) and showed a 16% elevation in TMA signaling (P<0.04). The altered metabolite signals and ratios in combination with the cognitive performance might suggest gender-related neuronal degeneration and dysfunction within subcortical regions in AD.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aged Alzheimer Disease/ metabolism/psychology Analysis of Variance Brain/metabolism Female Humans Learning/ physiology Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/ methods Male Middle Aged Neuropsychological Tests/statistics & numerical data Problem Solving/physiology Sex Characteristics Statistics, Nonparametric
Subjects: diseases & disorders > mental disorders > delirium dementia cognitive disorders > Alzheimer's disease
diseases & disorders > mental disorders > delirium dementia cognitive disorders
diseases & disorders > mental disorders
organism description > animal > gender
Investigative techniques and equipment > spectroscopy > magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Investigative techniques and equipment > spectroscopy
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Henn lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: July 2003
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2013 15:47
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2013 15:47
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