Journal Article

Phosphorus and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrates mitochondrial dysfunction in early and advanced Parkinson's disease

Elke Hattingen, Jörg Magerkurth, Ulrich Pilatus, Anne Mozer, Carola Seifried, Helmuth Steinmetz, Friedhelm Zanella and Rüdiger Hilker

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 132, issue 12, pages 3285-3297
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awp293
Phosphorus and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrates mitochondrial dysfunction in early and advanced Parkinson's disease

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Mitochondrial dysfunction hypothetically contributes to neuronal degeneration in patients with Parkinson's disease. While several in vitro data exist, the measurement of cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction in living patients with Parkinson's disease is challenging. Anatomical magnetic resonance imaging combined with phosphorus and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging provides information about the functional integrity of mitochondria in specific brain areas. We measured partial volume corrected concentrations of low-energy metabolites and high-energy phosphates with sufficient resolution to focus on pathology related target areas in Parkinson's disease. Combined phosphorus and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in the mesostriatal region was performed in 16 early and 13 advanced patients with Parkinson's disease and compared to 19 age-matched controls at 3 Tesla. In the putamen and midbrain of both Parkinson's disease groups, we found a bilateral reduction of high-energy phosphates such as adenosine triphophosphate and phosphocreatine as final acceptors of energy from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. In contrast, low-energy metabolites such as adenosine diphophosphate and inorganic phosphate were within normal ranges. These results provide strong in vivo evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction of mesostriatal neurons is a central and persistent phenomenon in the pathogenesis cascade of Parkinson's disease which occurs early in the course of the disease.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; MR spectroscopy; 31P MRS; energy metabolism; mitochondrial dysfunction

Journal Article.  7252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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