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Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Basic Principles, and Application in Myelin Disorders

  • Jacob Valk
  • Marjo S. van der Knaap

Abstract

In 1924, Pauli was the first to suggest that electrons spin at high speed. Because the spinning electrons have mass, they have a certain angular moment and, thus, as spinning electric charges, a magnetic moment. Later, it was observed that certain nuclei also have magnetic moments. Something that these nuclei have in common is the fact that they are isotopes with an odd atomic mass and/or odd atomic number, whereas nuclei with both an even atomic number and atomic mass do not have a magnetic moment. Subsequently it was noted that when these nuclei are placed in a powerful magnetic field, they show a precessional motion about the axis of the field. In 1946 Bloch and Purcell simultaneously discovered the possibility of resonant energy absorption and emission of precessing nuclei, the basic of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and of spectroscopy (MRS). For this work they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952. MRS has developed into a very important tool in molecular chemistry and physics to reveal molecular structure, chemical reaction rates, and diffusion processes. The first spectroscopy experiments on living systems were performed on small-bore systems with tiny objects, such as red blood cells and excised tissue. Wider bores have been developed over the past 15 years, allowing the study of muscle disorders and experimental work with small animals. During the past few years, in vivo MRS of human brain has also become possible. At the present time, MRS is still of limited value in CNS disorders. It may have a future role in ischemic disorders and in the early assessment of therapeutic effects in cerebral malignancies following chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Perhaps MRS can be of help in differentiating white matter disorders.

Keywords

Atomic Nucleus Magnetic Field Strength Radio Frequency Pulse Small Magnetic Field Ethanolamine Plasmalogen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Valk
    • 1
  • Marjo S. van der Knaap
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic Radiology and NeuroradiologyFree University HospitalAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Child NeurologyAcademic HospitalUtrechtThe Netherlands

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