Whole-Brain Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Reveals Distinct Alterations in Neurometabolic Profile in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Martin Klietz, Nima Mahmoudi, Andrew A. Maudsley, Sulaiman Sheriff, Paul Bronzlik, Mohammad Almohammad, Patrick Nösel, Florian Wegner, Günter U. Höglinger, Heinrich Lanfermann, Xiao Qi Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is an atypical Parkinsonian syndrome characterized by supranuclear gaze palsy, early postural instability, and a frontal dysexecutive syndrome. Contrary to normal brain magnetic resonance imaging in Parkinson's disease (PD), PSP shows specific cerebral atrophy patterns and alterations, but these findings are not present in every patient, and it is still unclear if these signs are also detectable in early disease stages. Objective: The aim of the present study was to analyze the metabolic profile of patients with clinically diagnosed PSP in comparison with matched healthy volunteers and PD patients using whole-brain magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (wbMRSI). Methods: Thirty-nine healthy controls (HCs), 29 PD, and 22 PSP patients underwent wbMRSI. PSP and PD patients were matched for age and handedness with HCs. Clinical characterization was performed using the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, PSP rating scale, and DemTect (test for cognitive assessment). Results: In PSP patients a significant reduction in N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) was detected in all brain lobes. Fractional volume of the cerebrospinal fluid significantly increased in PSP patients compared to PD and healthy volunteers. Conclusions: In PSP much more neuronal degeneration and cerebral atrophy have been detected compared with PD. The most relevant alteration is the decrease in NAA in all lobes of the brain, which also showed a partial correlation with clinical symptoms. However, more studies are needed to confirm the additional value of wbMRSI in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1514
Number of pages12
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Parkinson's disease
  • biomarker
  • corticobasal syndrome
  • four-repeat tauopathy
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • progressive supranuclear palsy
  • spectroscopy


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