To determine if proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) detect differences in dementia status in adults with Down syndrome (DS), we used 1H-MRS to measure neuronal and glial metabolites in the posterior cingulate cortex in 22 adults with DS and in 15 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. We evaluated associations between 1H-MRS results and cognition among DS participants. Neuronal biomarkers, including N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and glutamate-glutamine complex (Glx), were significantly lower in DS patients with Alzheimer's should probably be changed to Alzheimer (without ' or s) through ms as per the new naming standard disease (DSAD) when compared to non-demented DS (DS) and healthy controls (CTL). Neuronal biomarkers therefore appear to reflect dementia status in DS. In contrast, all DS participants had significantly higher myo-inositol (MI), a putative glial biomarker, compared to CTL. Our data indicate that there may be an overall higher glial inflammatory component in DS compared to CTL prior to and possibly independent of developing dementia. When computing the NAA to MI ratio, we found that presence or absence of dementia could be distinguished in DS. NAA, Glx, and NAA/MI in all DS participants were correlated with scores from the Brief Praxis Test and the Severe Impairment Battery. 1H-MRS may be a useful diagnostic tool in future longitudinal studies to measure AD progression in persons with DS. In particular, NAA and the NAA/MI ratio is sensitive to the functional status of adults with DS, including prior to dementia.
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Study funding: Supported by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Insti- tute of Child Health Development of the National Institutes of Health R01HD064993 awarded to EH & FAS and K01AG040164 to A-LL.
Lin, Ai-Ling; Powell, David; Caban-Holt, Allison; Jicha, Gregory A.; Robertson, William C.; Gold, Brian T.; Davis, Roberta; Abner, Erin L.; Wilcock, Donna M.; Schmitt, Frederick A.; and Head, Elizabeth, "1H-MRS Metabolites in Adults with Down Syndrome: Effects of Dementia" (2016). Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Faculty Publications. 66.