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February 2004

Reduced N-acetylaspartate Levels and Cognitive Decline

Arch Neurol. 2004;61(2):296. doi:10.1001/archneur.61.2.296-a

The report by Enzinger et al1 confirms the earlier study by Chapman et al2 regarding the predictive value of the apolipoprotein E ϵ4 allele (APOE ϵ4) for severity in multiple sclerosis. Reduced N-acetylaspartate levels have been shown to be valuable markers for cognitive decline in several diseases, including Alzheimer disease3,4 and multiple sclerosis5 (C. Christodoulou, PhD, L. B. Krupp, MD, Z. Liang, PhD, et al, written communication, 2003). Were any data collected by Enzinger and colleagues on cognitive function in their various patient subgroups, with attempts to correlate cognitive decline to APOE ϵ4 allele and N-acetylaspartate levels?

Enzinger  CRopele  SStrasser-Fuchs  S  et al Lower levels of N-acetylaspartate in multiple sclerosis patients with the apolipoprotein E e4 allele.  Arch Neurol.2003;60:65-70.PubMedGoogle Scholar
Chapman  JVinokurov  SAchiron  A  et al APOE genotype is a major predictor of long-term progression of disability in MS.  Neurology.2001;56:312-316.PubMedGoogle Scholar
Jessen  FBlock  WTraber  F  et al Decrease of N-acetylaspartate in the MTL correlates with cognitive decline of AD patients.  Neurology.2001;57:930-932.PubMedGoogle Scholar
Block  WJessen  FTraber  F  et al Regional N-acetylaspartate reduction in the hippocampus detected with fast proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in patients with Alzheimer disease.  Arch Neurol.2002;59:828-834.PubMedGoogle Scholar
Pan  JWKrupp  LBElkins  LECoyle  PK Cognitive dysfunction lateralizes with NAA in multiple sclerosis.  Appl Neuropsychol.2001;8:155-160.PubMedGoogle Scholar