Elevated cerebral glutamate and myo-inositol levels in cognitively normal middle-aged adults with metabolic syndrome

Andreana P. Haley, Mitzi M. Gonzales, Takashi Tarumi, Steven C. Miles, Katayoon Goudarzi, Hirofumi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of risk factors associated with significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and diminished cognitive function. Given that the cerebral mechanisms mediating the relationship between peripheral metabolic dysfunction and cognitive impairment are unknown, we set out to examine the relationship between diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and cerebral metabolism. Thirteen participants with MetS (aged 48∈± ∈6 years) and 25 healthy adults (aged 51∈±∈6 years) underwent neuropsychological assessment, health screen and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) examining N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), myo-inositol (mI), creatine (Cr), choline (Cho), and glutamate (Glu) concentrations in occipitoparietal grey matter. Cerebral metabolite ratios (NAA/Cr, Cho/Cr, mI/Cr, and Glu/Cr) of participants with MetS, defined by the International Diabetes Federation criteria, were compared with controls matched for age, education, cognition, and emotional function. There were no significant differences in global cognitive function, memory, language, and psychomotor performance between the groups. Diagnosis of MetS was associated with significantly higher mI/Cr (F(1,36)∈=∈5.02, p∈=∈0.031) and Glu/Cr ratio (F(1,36)∈=∈4.81, p∈=∈0.035). Even in cognitively normal adults, MetS is related to cerebral metabolic disturbances, a possible indication of early brain vulnerability. Longitudinal studies that begin in mid-life can help validate the use of 1H MRS markers as indicators of long-term cognitive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolic Brain Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Glutamate
  • H MRS
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Myo-inositol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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