Preservation of neuronal tissue is crucial for recovery after stroke, but studies suggest that prolonged neuronal loss occurs following acute ischaemia. This study assessed the temporal pattern of neuronal loss in subacute ischemic stroke patients using 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy, in parallel with functional recovery at 2, 6 and 12 weeks after stroke. Specifically, we measured N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, myoinositol, creatine and lactate concentrations in the ipsilesional and contralesional thalamus of 15 first-ever acute ischaemic stroke patients and 15 control participants and correlated MRS concentrations with motor recovery, measured at 12 weeks using the Fugl-Meyer scale. NAA in the ipsilesional thalamus fell significantly between 2 and 12 weeks (10.0 to 7.97 mmol/L, p = 0.003), while choline, myoinositol and lactate concentrations increased (p = 0.025, p = 0.031, p = 0.001, respectively). Higher NAA concentrations in the ipsilesional thalamus at 2 and 12 weeks correlated with higher Fugl Meyer scores at 12 weeks (p = 0.004 and p = 0.006, respectively). While these results should be considered preliminary given the modest sample size, the progressive fall in NAA and late increases in choline, myoinositol and lactate may indicate progressive non-ischaemic neuronal loss, metabolically depressed neurons and/or diaschisis e

Original languageEnglish
Article number482
JournalDiagnostics (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2020


  • Inflammation
  • Ischaemic stroke
  • MR spectroscopy
  • N-acetylaspartate (NAA)
  • Recovery
  • Subacute


Dive into the research topics of 'Subacute Changes in N-Acetylaspartate (NAA) Following Ischemic Stroke: A Serial MR Spectroscopy Pilot Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this