Localized 1H NMR measurement of glucose consumption in the human brain during visual stimulation

Wei Chen, Edward J. Novotny, Xiao Hong Zhu, Douglas L. Rothman, R. G. Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Spatially localized 1H NMR spectroscopy has been applied to measure changes in brain glucose concentration during 8-Hz photic stimulation. NMR spectroscopic measurements were made in a 12-cm3 volume centered on the calcarine fissure and encompassing the primary visual cortex. The average maximum change in glucose levels was 0.34 μmol·g-1 (n = 5) at 15 min; glucose level had turned toward resting level at 25 min. The glucose change was used to calculate the increase of glucose cerebral metabolic rate in the visual cortex region for individual subjects by using the Michaelis-Menten model of glucose transport on the assumption of constant transport kinetics. The glucose cerebral metabolic rate was calculated to increase over the nonstimulated rate by 22% during the first 15 min of photic stimulation. A model in which the glucose metabolic rate gradually decreases during stimulation was proposed as a possible explanation for the recovery of brain glucose and previously measured lactate concentrations to prestimulus values after 15 min.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9896-9900
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 1993


  • Brain activity
  • Cerebral metabolic rate of glucose
  • Cerebral metabolism
  • Visual cortex


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