Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Symposium 2

In-vivo analysis for human brain maturation using MRI

Yuji Suzuki, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Center for Integrated Human Brain Science, Brain Research Institute, University of Niigata

The evaluation of human brain maturation in vivo is a significant problem for pediatric neurologists. MRI, especially Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and 1H-MR Spectroscopy (MRS), can be a powerful method to solve this problem. A decrease in three eigenvalues (Δλ1 < Δλ2 ≈ Δλ3) and an increase in Fractional Anisotropy, as a function of brain maturation, was identified in the frontal and parietal white matter using DTI, which is a non-invasive imaging technique capable of providing a quantitative view of neural fibers and micro-environmental alterations during the myelination period. MRS, a powerful technique capable non-invasively quantifying N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), a marker for neurons, glutamate (Glu), an excitatory neurotransmitter, and creatine (Cr), revealed a decrease in the Glu/Cr ratio, but found no changes to the NAA/Cr ratio with maturational changes in brain networks, such as a decrease in cortical synaptic density (refinement). Therefore, we suggest these two MRI techniques, DTI and MRS, can be used to provide direct, non-invasive information on brain maturation in vivo, which we believe will help elucidate the pathophysiology behind neurodevelopmental disorders that disrupt normal brain maturation.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (1392K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 53: 1100|1103, 2013)
key words: brain maturation, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, 1H-MR spectroscopy, glutamate, eigenvalue

(Received: 30-May-13)