Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, localised to the lentiform nucleus, was carried out in three ex-professional boxers who developed a parkinsonian syndrome, six patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, and six age matched controls. The three ex-boxers all showed a pronounced reduction in the absolute concentration of N-acetylaspartate compared with the patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and the control group. This reduction is likely to reflect neuronal loss occurring in the putamen and globus pallidus and supports the hypothesis that the extrapyramidal syndrome that may occur in ex-boxers is a distinct entity from idiopathic Parkinson's disease.
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