Relationships Between Frontal Metabolites and Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers in Cognitively Normal Older Adults

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Neurobiology of Aging



First page number:


Last page number:



Elevated expression of β-amyloid (Aβ1-42) and tau are considered risk-factors for Alzheimer's disease in healthy older adults. We investigated the effect of aging and cerebrospinal fluid levels of Aβ1-42 and tau on 1) frontal metabolites measured with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and 2) cognition in cognitively normal older adults (n = 144; age range 50-85). Levels of frontal gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA+) and myo-inositol relative to creatine (mI/tCr) were predicted by age. Levels of GABA+ predicted cognitive performance better than mI/tCr. Additionally, we found that frontal levels of n-acetylaspartate relative to creatine (tNAA/tCr) were predicted by levels of t-tau. In cognitively normal older adults, levels of frontal GABA+ and mI/tCr are predicted by aging, with levels of GABA+ decreasing with age and the opposite for mI/tCr. These results suggest that age- and biomarker-related changes in brain metabolites are not only located in the posterior cortex as suggested by previous studies and further demonstrate that MRS is a viable tool in the study of aging and biomarkers associated with pathological aging and Alzheimer's disease.


Aging; Alzheimer's disease; Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers; Frontal cortex; General cognition; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy


Cognitive Neuroscience | Neurosciences

UNLV article access

Search your library