Carson Ingo1, Wyger M. Brink1, Ece Ercan1, Andrew G. Webb1, and Itamar Ronen1
Since choline mostly resides in astrocytes, N-acetyl-aspartate mostly
presides in axons, and creatine is distributed between both neural
cell types, these intracellular metabolites can provide more specific microstructural compartment information compared to water. In this study, we apply diffusion-weighted spectroscopy to
analyze axonal and glial structures by identifying
non-Gaussian movement of intracellular metabolites in both white and gray matter of the healthy human brain at
b-values up to ~17,000 s/mm2. We establish that all measured metabolites exhibited non-Gaussian subdiffusion in both tissue types with the gray matter intracellular space appearing more heterogeneous than white matter, opposite to water diffusion dynamics.