Mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and metabolic alterations in the progression of Alzheimer's disease: A meta-analysis of in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies.
Accumulating evidence demonstrates that metabolic changes in the brain associated with neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction play an important role in the pathophysiology of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the neural signatures associated with these metabolic alterations and underlying molecular mechanisms are still elusive. Accordingly, we reviewed the literature on in vivo human brain 1H and 31P-MRS studies and use meta-analyses to identify patterns of brain metabolic alterations in MCI and AD. 40 and 39 studies on MCI and AD, respectively, were classified according to brain regions. Our results indicate decreased N-acetyl aspartate and creatine but increased myo-inositol levels in both MCI and AD, decreased glutathione level in MCI as well as disrupted energy metabolism in AD. In addition, the hippocampus shows the strongest alterations in most of these metabolites. This meta-analysis also illustrates progressive metabolite alterations from MCI to AD. Taken together, it suggests that 1) neuroinflammation and oxidative stress may occur in the early stages of AD, and likely precede neuron loss in its progression; 2) the hippocampus is a sensitive region of interest for early diagnosis and monitoring the response of interventions; 3) targeting bioenergetics associated with neuroinflammation/oxidative stress is a promising approach for treating AD.