Cerebral Metabolic Changes in Rheumatoid Arthritis
van der Grond J, Emmer B, van der Bijl A, Breedveld F, Huizinga T, van Buchem M
Leiden University Medical Center
Although patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) generally suffer from non-specific subjective neuropsychiatric complaints, the effects of RA on the brain are currently unknown. In this study we aimed to detect cerebral metabolic abnormalities in RA patients using 1H-MRS. 35 RA patients with varying disease activity and 28 healthy control subjects underwent single voxel 1H-MRS in the left centrum semi-ovale. Active RA patients had decreased NAA/choline and increased choline/creatine ratios compared to inactive RA patients. Moreover, both ratios correlated significantly with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Our data show that increased choline levels are associated with disease activity, indicating impaired membrane metabolism.