, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 358-372
Date: 05 Sep 2012

The application of NMR-based metabonomics in neurological disorders


Advances in postgenomic technologies have radically changed the information output from complex biological systems, generating vast amounts of high complexity data that can be interpreted by means of chemometric and bioinformatic methods to achieve disease diagnosis and prognosis. High-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of biofluids such as plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and urine can generate robust, interpretable metabolic fingerprints that contain latent information relating to physiological or pathological status. This technology has been successfully applied to both preclinical and clinical studies of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and cerebellar ataxia. An extension of this technology,1H magicangle-spinning (HRMAS) NMR spectroscopy, can be used to generate metabolic information on small intact tissue samples, providing a metabolic link between metabolic profiling of biofluids and histology. In this review we provide a summary of high-resolution NMR studies in neurodegenerative disease and explore the potential of metabonomics in evaluating disease progression with respect to therapeutic intervention.