Prefrontal NAA and Glx Levels in Different Stages of Psychotic Disorders: a 3T 1H-MRS Study

Edith Liemburg*, Anita Sibeijn-Kuiper, Leonie Bais, Gerdina Pijnenborg, Henderikus Knegtering, Jorien van der Velde, Esther Opmeer, Annerieke de Vos, Jozarni Dlabac-De Lange, Lex Wunderink, André Aleman

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

H-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) can offer insights in various neuropathologies by measuring metabolite levels in the brain. In the current study we investigated the levels of glutamate + glutamine (Glx, neurotransmitter and precursor) and N-Acetyl Aspartate + glutamic acid (NAA + NAAG; neuronal viability) in the prefrontal cortex of patients with a psychotic disorder and people at Ultra High Risk (UHR) for psychosis. A (1)H-MRS spectrum was acquired in 31 patients with a recent onset psychotic disorder and 60 with a chronic state, 16 UHR patients and 36 healthy controls. Absolute metabolite levels were calculated using LCModel with a reference water peak. Groups were compared while taking into account age and partial volume effects. Moreover, we investigated associations with positive and negative symptoms, duration of illness, and antipsychotic treatment in patients. The most notable finding is that chronicity of schizophrenia was related to decreased levels of Glx and NAA. On the other hand, although on an exploratory note, UHR showed increased levels of prefrontal Glx and NAA levels with increasing age. Our results may indicate an initial Glx and NAA increase and subsequent decrease during illness progression that may be related to the neurotoxic effects of glutamate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21873
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23-Feb-2016

Keywords

  • MAGNETIC-RESONANCE-SPECTROSCOPY
  • INTERNATIONAL NEUROPSYCHIATRIC INTERVIEW
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • N-ACETYLASPARTATE
  • DSM-IV
  • SCHIZOPHRENIA
  • METAANALYSIS
  • BRAIN
  • RISK
  • GLUTAMATE

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