Effect of basal ganglia injury on central dopamine activity in Gulf War syndrome: Correlation of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and plasma homovanillic acid levels

Robert W. Haley, James L. Fleckenstein, W. Wesley Marshall, George G. McDonald, Gerald L. Kramer, Frederick Petty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Many complaints of Gulf War veterans are compatible with a neurologic illness involving the basal ganglia. Methods: In 12 veterans with Haley Gulf War syndrome 2 and in 15 healthy control veterans of similar age, sex, and educational level, we assessed functioning neuronal mass in both basal ganglia by measuring the ratio of N-acetyl-aspartate to creatine with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Central dopamine activity was assessed by measuring the ratio of plasma homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenlyglycol (MHPG). Results: The logarithm of the age-standardized HVA/ MHPG ratio was inversely associated with functioning neuronal mass in the left basal ganglia (R 2=0.56; F 1,27=33.82; P<.001) but not with that in the right (R 2= 0.04; F 1,26= 1.09; P =.30). Controlling for age, renal clearances of creatinine and weak organic anions, handedness, and smoking did not substantially alter the associations. Conclusions: The reduction in functioning neuronal mass in the left basal ganglia of these veterans with Gulf War syndrome seems to have altered central dopamine production in a lateralized pattern. This finding supports the theory that Gulf War syndrome is a neurologic illness, in part related to injury to dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1285
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume57
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000

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Persian Gulf Syndrome
Homovanillic Acid
Basal Ganglia
Veterans
Dopamine
Wounds and Injuries
Nervous System
Gulf War
Functional Laterality
Creatine
Dopaminergic Neurons
Anions
Creatinine
Smoking
Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Spectroscopy
Syndrome
Plasma
Kidney

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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Effect of basal ganglia injury on central dopamine activity in Gulf War syndrome : Correlation of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and plasma homovanillic acid levels. / Haley, Robert W.; Fleckenstein, James L.; Marshall, W. Wesley; McDonald, George G.; Kramer, Gerald L.; Petty, Frederick.

In: Archives of Neurology, Vol. 57, No. 9, 2000, p. 1280-1285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Haley, Robert W. ; Fleckenstein, James L. ; Marshall, W. Wesley ; McDonald, George G. ; Kramer, Gerald L. ; Petty, Frederick. / Effect of basal ganglia injury on central dopamine activity in Gulf War syndrome : Correlation of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and plasma homovanillic acid levels. In: Archives of Neurology. 2000 ; Vol. 57, No. 9. pp. 1280-1285.
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N2 - Background: Many complaints of Gulf War veterans are compatible with a neurologic illness involving the basal ganglia. Methods: In 12 veterans with Haley Gulf War syndrome 2 and in 15 healthy control veterans of similar age, sex, and educational level, we assessed functioning neuronal mass in both basal ganglia by measuring the ratio of N-acetyl-aspartate to creatine with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Central dopamine activity was assessed by measuring the ratio of plasma homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenlyglycol (MHPG). Results: The logarithm of the age-standardized HVA/ MHPG ratio was inversely associated with functioning neuronal mass in the left basal ganglia (R 2=0.56; F 1,27=33.82; P<.001) but not with that in the right (R 2= 0.04; F 1,26= 1.09; P =.30). Controlling for age, renal clearances of creatinine and weak organic anions, handedness, and smoking did not substantially alter the associations. Conclusions: The reduction in functioning neuronal mass in the left basal ganglia of these veterans with Gulf War syndrome seems to have altered central dopamine production in a lateralized pattern. This finding supports the theory that Gulf War syndrome is a neurologic illness, in part related to injury to dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia.

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