3T MEGA-PRESS study of N-acetyl aspartyl glutamate and N-acetyl aspartate in activated visual cortex

Abstract

Objective

To measure N-acetyl aspartyl glutamate (NAAG) and N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) concentrations in visual cortex activated by a continuous stimulation in a 3 T field.

Methods

NAAG and NAA spectra were obtained with MEGA-PRESS pulse sequence (TE/TR = 140/2000 ms; δONNAAG/δOFFNAAG = 4.61/4.15 ppm; δONNAA/δOFFNAA = 4.84/4.38 ppm) in 14 healthy volunteers at rest and upon stimulation by a radial checkerboard flickering at a frequency of 8 Hz. Spectra of all subjects were frequency and phase aligned and then averaged. Additionally, to obtain the time-dependency data, spectra were divided into time sections of 64 s each. The intensities of NAA, NAAG and lactate + macromolecular (Lac + MM) signals were defined by integration of the real part of spectra. The heights of the central resonance of NAAG and NAA signals were measured.

Results

The NAAG and NAA concentrations, measured with 2.5% and 0.5% error, respectively, were unaffected by visual activation. A significant increase in the Lac + MM signal by ~ 12% is clearly observed. No stimulation-induced time dependency was found for NAAG or NAA, while the increase in Lac + MM was gradual. The concentration values in visual cortex are in good agreement with the 7 T MRS measurements: [NAAG] = 1.55 mM, [NAA] = 11.95 mM.

Conclusion

The MEGA-PRESS pulse sequence together with the spectral preprocessing techniques allowed to demonstrate that the concentrations of NAAG and NAA in the visual cortex remain constant during continuous visual stimulation within the margin of error. An increase in the lactate signal intensity signifies the activation of the anaerobic glycolysis in activated visual cortex.

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Acknowledgements

The authors of the article thank Prof. P.B. Barker and Prof. R.A.E. Edden and their team from Johns Hopkins University for the opportunity to work with the MEGA-PRESS pulse sequence. The authors would also like to thank Dr. J. Near and all the contributors for creating the FID-A toolkit for MRS data.

Funding

This study was supported by the Grants RSF 18-1300030 and RFBR 19-29-10040.

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Authors

Contributions

AM—study conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of manuscript. PM—acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision. AY—analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision. MU—analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision. OB—acquisition of data, critical revision. DK—critical revision. TA—critical revision. SV—critical revision. NS—study conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of manuscript, critical revision.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrei Manzhurtsev.

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Conflict of interest

Andrei Manzhurtsev declares that he has no conflict of interest. Petr Menschchikov declares that he has no conflict of interest. Alexey Yakovlev declares that he has no conflict of interest. Maxim Ublinskii declares that he has no conflict of interest. Olga Bozhko declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dmitrii Kupriyanov declares that he has no conflict of interest. Tolib Akhadov declares that he has no conflict of interest. Sergei Varfolomeev declares that he has no conflict of interest. Natalia Semenova declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Manzhurtsev, A., Menschchikov, P., Yakovlev, A. et al. 3T MEGA-PRESS study of N-acetyl aspartyl glutamate and N-acetyl aspartate in activated visual cortex. Magn Reson Mater Phy (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10334-021-00912-5

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Keywords

  • NAAG
  • NAA
  • Visual stimulation
  • 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • MEGA-PRESS