Biochemical changes in the frontal lobe of HIV-infected individuals detected by magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Dolores López-Villegas, Robert E. Lenkinski, Ian Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


We have developed a proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy method that selectively can sample cortical gray matter and adjacent white matter in the frontal lobe. We have used this approach to study a group of patients (n = 7) infected with HIV and clinical manifestations of the AIDS dementia complex (ADC), a group of patients (n = 8) infected with HIV without any indications of ADC, and seven controls. The patients without ADC had a statistically significant increase in the ratio of myo-inositol to creatine in white matter compared with normal controls. In contrast, the group of patients with ADC had almost normal levels of myo-inositol to creatine in both gray matter and white matter and showed a statistically significant decrease in the N- acetylaspartate to creatine ratio in gray matter compared with either the normal controls or the patients without ADC. Patterns of spectral abnormalities correlated with neuropsychological measures of frontal lobe dysfunction, suggesting that the evaluation of frontal lobe metabolism by magnetic resonance spectroscopy can play a role in the early detection of ADC, in determining its progression, and in assessing responses to therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9854-9859
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2 1997


  • AIDS dementia complex
  • Brain cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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