Main compounds observed by 1H MRS in the brain

Compound Abbreviation Biological role
N-Acetyl aspartate NAA Neuronal marker. Other compounds with N-acetyl groups contribute to the signal (NAAG).
Creatine/phosphocreatine Cr Source of phosphate to convert ADP to ATP
Choline Cho Sum of signals from all derivatives of choline including acetylcholine neurotransmitter, derivatives of membrane phosphatidylcholine and betaine
myo-Inositol mI Glial marker
Glutamate Glu Excitation neurotransmitter
Glutamine Gln Product of the reaction between Glu and ammonia. Regulator of Glu and detoxification. Signals from Gln and Glu are indistinguishable and are noted Glx.
Glucose Glc Energy source
Lactate Lac Final product of anaerobic glycolysis
gamma-Amino butyric acid GABA Neurotransmitter


1H brain spectrum


1H brain spectrum