In this study, ascorbate (Asc) and glutathione (GSH) concentrations were quantified noninvasively using double-edited1H MRS at 4 T in the occipital cortex of healthy young [age (mean±standard deviation)=20.4±1.4 years] and elderly (age=76.6±6.1 years) human subjects. Elderly subjects had a lower GSH concentration than younger subjects (p<0.05). The Asc concentration was not significantly associated with age. Furthermore, the lactate (Lac) concentration was higher in elderly than young subjects. Lower GSH and higher Lac concentrations are indications of defective protection against oxidative damage and impaired mitochondrial respiration. The extent to which the observed concentration differences could be associated with physiological differences and methodological artifacts is discussed. In conclusion, GSH and Asc concentrations were compared noninvasively for the first time in young vs elderly subjects.

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Keywords Aging, Ascorbate, Brain, Glutathione, Human, Lactate, MEGA-PRESS, MRS
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Journal NMR in Biomedicine (Print)
Emir, U.E, Raatz, S, Mcpherson, S, Hodges, J.S, Torkelson, C, Tawfik, P, … Terpstra, M. (2011). Noninvasive quantification of ascorbate and glutathione concentration in the elderly human brain. NMR in Biomedicine (Print), 24(7), 888–894. doi:10.1002/nbm.1646