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Post-surgical changes in brain metabolism detected by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in normal pressure hydrocephalus: results of a pilot study
  1. María del Mar Matarín1,
  2. Roser Pueyo1,
  3. María Antonia Poca2,
  4. Carles Falcón3,
  5. María Mataró1,
  6. Núria Bargalló4,
  7. Juan Sahuquillo2,
  8. Carme Junqué3
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4Department of Neuroradiology, Hospital Clínic i Provincial de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M A Poca
 Neurosurgery Department, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Passeig Vall d’Hebron 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain; 26382app{at}


Background: Adult normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is one of the few potentially treatable causes of dementia. Some morphological and functional abnormalities attributed to hydrocephalus improve following treatment.

Objectives: We focused on analysis of changes in cerebral metabolites using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) after NPH treatment, and its clinical and cognitive correlation.

Methods:1H-MRS, neuropsychological and clinical status examinations were performed before and 6 months after shunting in 12 adults with idiopathic NPH. We obtained N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), myoinositol (MI) and creatine (Cr) values.

Results: After surgery, NAA/Cr was significantly increased. Moreover, NAA/Cr values were related to cognitive deterioration.

Conclusion: MRS could be a marker of neuronal dysfunction in NPH.

  • Cr, creatine
  • Cho, choline
  • 1H-MRS, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • MI, myoinositol
  • MMSE, Mini-Mental State Examination
  • NAA, N-acetyl-aspartate
  • NPH, normal pressure hydrocephalus

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  • Published Online First 13 February 2007

  • Competing interests: None.

  • The protocol of the study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee on Human Research of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (PR [HG] 63/2001). Consent was obtained from patients’ next of kin after the nature of the procedure had been fully explained.