Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Brain Energy Metabolism in Parkinson’s Disease

W.R. Wayne Martin, M.D.
University of Alberta

The mitochondria are the energy-producing parts of a cell, required for normal cell function. Thinking that the brain chemical lactate might be increased in PD brains due to abnormal mitochondrial functions, Dr. W.R. Wayne Martin (University of Alberta) used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure brain chemicals noninvasively. Most brain chemicals were comparable between PD patients and healthy individuals, except for a substantial increase in lactate in the patients (up to seventy percent higher levels) in their occipital regions. understand the highly selective cell loss that characterizes PD.