Are glutamate and lactate increases ubiquitous to physiological activation? A 1H functional MR spectroscopy study during motor activation in human brain at 7Tesla
Recent studies at high field (7 Tesla) have reported small metabolite changes, in particular lactate and glutamate (below 0.3 μmol/g) during visual stimulation. These studies have been limited to the visual cortex because of its high energy metabolism and good magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) sensitivity using surface coil. The aim of this study was to extend functional MRS (fMRS) to investigate for the first time the metabolite changes during motor activation at 7 T. Small but sustained increases in lactate (0.17 μmol/g ± 0.05 μmol/g, p < 0.001) and glutamate (0.17 μmol/g ± 0.09 μmol/g, p < 0.005) were detected during motor activation followed by a return to the baseline after the end of activation. The present study demonstrates that increases in lactate and glutamate during motor stimulation are small, but similar to those observed during visual stimulation. From the observed glutamate and lactate increase, we inferred that these metabolite changes may be a general manifestation of the increased neuronal activity. In addition, we propose that the measured metabolite concentration increases imply an increase in ΔCMRO2 that is transiently below that of ΔCMRGlc during the first 1 to 2 minutes of the stimulation.