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N-Acetylaspartate

A Unique Neuronal Molecule in the Central Nervous System

N-Acetylaspartate
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US$ 209.00
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N-acetylaspartate, or NAA, is the acetylated form of the amino acid aspartate, and it is present exclusively in the nervous system. Indeed, NAA is one of the most highly concentrated chemicals found in the brain of humans and animals, and yet the functions served by this brain-specific metabolite remain elusive, and controversial. Despite the uncertainties surrounding the functions of NAA in the development and operation of the nervous system, this molecule has attracted the attention of researchers and clinicians for two distinct reasons. First, the acetyl proton on NAA gives off a very prominent signal in water-suppressed, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which permits clinicians to monitor levels of NAA in the brains of patients in a non-invasive manner. Because NAA is found primarily in neurons, and because the levels in the brain have been found to change rapidly after injury, or slowly during neurodegenerative diseases, MRS has become a preferred method of analyzing nerve cell dysfunction and death without surgical intervention.
Springer; October 2006
394 pages; ISBN 9780387301723
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