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Early reduction of total N-acetyl-aspartate-compounds in patients with classical vanishing white matter disease. A long-term follow-up MRS study
Dreha-Kulaczewski, S. F. ; Dechent, P. ; Finsterbusch, J.; Brockmann, K. ; Gärtner, J. ; Frahm, J. & Hanefeld, F. A. (2008)
Pediatric Research, 63(4) pp. 444-449. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1203/01.pdr.0000304934.90198.25
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- Dreha-Kulaczewski, Steffi F. ; Dechent, Peter ; Finsterbusch, Jurgen; Brockmann, Knut ; Gärtner, Jutta ; Frahm, Jens ; Hanefeld, Folker A.
- The neuropathology of vanishing white matter (VWM) disease is characterized by a loss of white matter (WM). Although recent histopathological studies suggest a primary glial dysfunction, the purpose of this work was to assess the extent of axonal involvement in VWM using long-term follow-up proton MR spectroscopy. White and gray matter of nine children with genetically proven VWM and late infancy/early childhood onset were investigated with short-echo time, single-voxel proton MR spectroscopy over up to 8 years starting as early as less than 2 years after the onset of symptoms (5 patients). Total N-acetyl-aspartate (-51% from normal control), creatine and phosphocreatine (-47%), and myo-inositol (-49%) were reduced in WM at early disease stages. Choline-containing compounds were less severely decreased (-31%). Follow-up investigations revealed progressive reduction of all metabolites in WM. In gray matter, no distinct changes were detected at early stages. Later total N-acetyl-aspartate decreased slightly (-22%). Assuming the metabolite alterations to primarily reflect changes in cellular composition, the observed pattern indicates early axonal involvement or loss as well as relatively enhanced turnover of myelin. These early stages are followed by a complete cellular loss in cerebral WM.
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- Pediatric Research