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Melissa Terpstra

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Associate Professor
2-166 CMRR

Dr. Melissa Terpstra specializes in noninvasive quantification of weakly represented neurochemicals in 1H magnetic resonance spectra (MRS). This work was pioneered using ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging systems, and is being translated for use on clinical scanners. Melissa discovered the presence of the antioxidant ascorbate (vitamin C) resonance using homonuclear edited 1H MR spectroscopy. She is funded by the national institute on aging (NIH) to study whether antioxidant depletion is exacerbated by Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dr. Terpstra earned her B.S. degree in physics from Bethel University and her PhD in medical physics and biophysical sciences at the University of Minnesota.

Research Interests:

  • To study how normal aging and AD impact the concentrations of the antioxidants ascorbate and GSH in a human brain region that is pertinent to the etiology of AD.
  • To characterize the neurobiology of aging using short echo time 1H MRS to measure an unprecedented number of neurochemical concentrations in several brain regions.
  • To follow up recent findings that IV administration of the antioxidant NAC raises the concentration of GSH in the human brain with studies on efficacy of dosing regimens and utilization of NAC for prevention and alleviation of dementia.
  • To characterize changes in resting state connectivity (rsfMRI) throughout aging and to correlate them with changes in the neurochemical profile.

Selected Publications:

Terpstra M, Cheong I, Lyu T, Deelchand DK, Emir UE, Bednařík P, Eberly LE, Öz G. Test-retest reproducibility of neurochemical profiles with short-echo, single-voxel MR spectroscopy at 3T and 7T. Magn Reson Med. 2015 Oct 26. doi:10.1002/mrm.26022. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26502373.

Terpstra M, Moheet A, Kumar A, Eberly LE, Seaquist E, Öz G. Changes in human brain glutamate concentration during hypoglycemia: insights into cerebral adaptations in hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure in type 1 diabetes. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2014 May;34(5):876-82. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.32. Epub 2014 Feb 19. PubMed PMID: 24549182; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4013769.

Marjańska M, Emir UE, Deelchand DK, Terpstra M. Faster metabolite (1)H transverse relaxation in the elder human brain. PLoS One. 2013 Oct 2;8(10):e77572. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077572. eCollection 2013. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2014;9(3):e92755. PubMed PMID: 24098589; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3788805.

Holmay MJ, Terpstra M, Coles LD, Mishra U, Ahlskog M, Öz G, Cloyd JC, Tuite PJ. N-Acetylcysteine boosts brain and blood glutathione in Gaucher and Parkinson diseases. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2013 Jul-Aug;36(4):103-6. doi:10.1097/WNF.0b013e31829ae713. PubMed PMID: 23860343; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3934795.

Emir UE, Raatz S, McPherson S, Hodges JS, Torkelson C, Tawfik P, White T, Terpstra M. Noninvasive quantification of ascorbate and glutathione concentration in the elderly human brain. NMR Biomed. 2011 Aug;24(7):888-94. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1646. Epub 2011 Jan 12. PubMed PMID: 21834011; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3118919.

Terpstra M, Marjanska M, Henry PG, Tkác I, Gruetter R. Detection of an antioxidant profile in the human brain in vivo via double editing with MEGA-PRESS. Magn Reson Med. 2006 Dec;56(6):1192-9. PubMed PMID: 17089366.

Terpstra M, Gruetter R. 1H NMR detection of vitamin C in human brain in vivo. Magn Reson Med. 2004 Feb;51(2):225-9. PubMed PMID: 14755644.