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Proton spectroscopy in the narcoleptic syndrome. Is there evidence of a brainstem lesion?


, : Proton spectroscopy in the narcoleptic syndrome. Is there evidence of a brainstem lesion?. Neurology 50(2 Suppl 1): S23-S26

There is controversy regarding the relationship of structural or biochemical brainstem lesions to 'idiopathic" narcolepsy. Most cases of the narcoleptic syndrome are considered to be idiopathic because no structural lesion is detectable, although some cases of secondary narcolepsy are known to be associated with no structural brainstem lesions. Using proton spectroscopy, we determined levels of ventral pontine metabolite pools in 12 normal subjects and 12 subjects with idiopathic narcolepsy. REM sleep is generated in ventral pontine areas. Proton spectroscopy was used to study levels of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) as a marker of cell mass, creatine and phosphocreatine (Cr + PCr), and choline (Cho). The intensity of the peaks, as determined by the area under the peak (AUP), was measured. The AUP correlates with the quantity of chemical present. In this study, the ratios of NAA to Cr + PCr were similar in normal subjects and in narcoleptic subjects with idiopathic narcolepsy. No differences in measured metabolic ratio were observed in subjects who slept during the scan procedure compared with those who remained awake. Subjects with 'symptomatic' narcolepsy accompanied by an obvious structural brain lesion were not studied. Proton spectroscopy of the brain initiates a new kind of neurochemistry, allowing the noninvasive study of metabolic pools in the living human brain without the use of any kind of tracer or radioactive molecule. In this study, there was no evidence of cell loss in the ventral pontine areas of subjects with the narcoleptic syndrome.

US$19.90

PMID: 9484419

DOI: 10.1212/WNL.50.2_Suppl_1.S23


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