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In this study, ascorbate (Asc) and glutathione (GSH) concentrations were quantified noninvasively using double-edited (1)H MRS at 4 T in the occipital cortex of healthy young [age (mean ± standard deviation) = 20.4 ± 1.4 years] and elderly (age = 76.6 ± 6.1 years) human subjects. Elderly subjects had a lower GSH concentration than younger subjects (p < 0.05). The Asc concentration was not significantly associated with age. Furthermore, the lactate (Lac) concentration was higher in elderly than young subjects. Lower GSH and higher Lac concentrations are indications of defective protection against oxidative damage and impaired mitochondrial respiration. The extent to which the observed concentration differences could be associated with physiological differences and methodological artifacts is discussed. In conclusion, GSH and Asc concentrations were compared noninvasively for the first time in young vs elderly subjects.

Original publication




Journal article


NMR Biomed

Publication Date





888 - 894


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Animals, Ascorbic Acid, Glutathione, Humans, Lactic Acid, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Occipital Lobe, Young Adult