Asymmetry and Gender Effect in Functionally Lateralized Cortical Regions: A Proton MRS Imaging Study

Lidia M. Nagae-Poetscher, David Bonekamp, Peter B. Barker, Larry J. Brant, Walter E. Kaufmann, Alena Horská

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: to compare metabolite concentrations and ratios in gray matter regions known for their anatomical/functional asymmetry and evaluate gender effect. Materials and Methods: Proton MRS imaging was performed at 1.5 T with TR/TE 2300/280 msec in 20 healthy right-handed subjects (mean age 29.6 ± 5.3 years, 10 men). Concentrations of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr), and the peak area ratios NAA/Cho, NAA/Cr, and Cho/Cr were evaluated in hippocampal and parahippocampal gyri, thalamus, insula, Broca's and Wernicke's areas (and corresponding contralateral areas), primary and secondary visual areas, temporal, inferior parietal, cingulate, supplemental motor, dorsolateral prefrontal, and sensorimotor areas. Linear mixed-effects regression models were used for statistical analyses. Results: NAA concentration and NAA/Cho were higher in the left thalamus by 21.9% and 20%, respectively (both P < 0.001). NAA concentration was 13% higher in the region contralateral to Wernicke's area (P < 0.02). No gender differences were found. Conclusion: Metabolite concentrations and ratios were symmetric and gender independent in most brain regions, however small hemispheric side differences in the thalamus and in Wemicke's area were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Gender
  • Lateralization
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Thalamus
  • Wernicke's area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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