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N-Acetylaspartic acid

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N-Acetylaspartic acid
N-Acetylaspartic acid
General
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Molar mass  ?.?? g/mol
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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references


N-Acetylaspartic acid, or N-acetylaspartate (NAA), is a derivative of aspartic acid with a formula of C6H9NO5 and a molecular weight of 175.139.

NAA is the second-most-concentrated molecule in the brain after the amino acid glutamate. It is synthesized in neurons from the amino acid aspartic acid and acetyl-coenzyme A. The various functions served by NAA are still under investigation, but the primary proposed functions include its being:

  1. A neuronal osmolyte that is involved in fluid balance in the brain
  2. A source of acetate for lipid and myelin synthesis in oligodendrocytes, the glial cells that myelinate neuronal axons
  3. A precursor for the synthesis of the important neuronal dipeptide N-Acetylaspartylglutamate
  4. A contributor to energy production from the amino acid glutamate in neuronal mitochondria.

NAA gives off the largest signal in magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the human brain, and the levels measured there are decreased in numerous neuropathological conditions ranging from brain injury to stroke to Alzheimer's disease. This fact makes NAA a reliable diagnostic molecule for doctors treating patients with brain damage or disease.

NAA may also be a marker of creativity. [1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Template:No footnotes

  • N-Acetylaspartate: A Unique Neuronal Molecule in the Central Nervous System, eds., J.R.Moffett, S.B.Tieman, D.R.Weinberger, J.T.Coyle, and M.A.Namboodiri, pp. 7–26. New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media, 2006.

http://www.n-acetylaspartate.com

Finds correlations between measure of creativity and fMRIs of NAA levels in areas of brain: Biochemical Support for the "Threshold" Theory of Creativity: A Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study, Rex E. Jung et al, April 22, 2009, 29(16):5319-5325; doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0588-09.2009



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