Byeong-Yeul Lee1, Padmavathi Ponnuru2, James R. Connor2, Qing X. Yang1,3
1Bioengineering, The Penn State University, Hershey, PA, USA; 2Neurosurgery, The Penn State University, Hershey, PA, USA; 3Radiology, The Penn State University, Hershey, PA, USA
Iron deficiency has been known as a contributing factor for restless legs syndrome (RLS). To date, the relationship of iron deficiency and neurochemical changes in the dopaminergic brain structures has not been studied in vivo. The aim of present study was to investigate the neurochemical profiles in the RLS brain using in vivo 1H MRS as well as ex vivo myelin analysis of RLS autopsy brain tissue. We observed a highly significant increase in NAA concentration and decreased expression of myelin-related protein in RLS brain. These results support the hypothesis that brain iron deficiency may cause hypomyelination which leads to a NAA increase in RLS brain.