Imaging of glutamate neurotransmitter alterations in Alzheimer's disease

Mohammad Haris, Kavindra Nath, Kejia Cai, Anup Singh, Rachelle Crescenzi, Feliks Kogan, Gaurav Verma, Sanjana Reddy, Hari Hariharan, Elias R. Melhem, Ravinder Reddy

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Glutamate (Glu) is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and has been shown to decrease in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Using a glutamate chemical (amine) exchange saturation transfer (GluCEST) method, we imaged the change in [Glu] in the APP-PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD at high spatial resolution. Compared with wild-type controls, AD mice exhibited a notable reduction in GluCEST contrast (~30%) in all areas of the brain. The change in [Glu] was further validated through 1H MRS. A positive correlation was observed between GluCEST contrast and 1H MRS-measured Glu/total creatine ratio. This method potentially provides a novel noninvasive biomarker for the diagnosis of the disease in preclinical stages and enables the development of disease-modifying therapies for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013



  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Brain
  • Chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging
  • Glutamate
  • MRI
  • MRS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy

Cite this

Haris, M., Nath, K., Cai, K., Singh, A., Crescenzi, R., Kogan, F., Verma, G., Reddy, S., Hariharan, H., Melhem, E. R., & Reddy, R. (2013). Imaging of glutamate neurotransmitter alterations in Alzheimer's disease. NMR in Biomedicine, 26(4), 386-391.