Vilma Gabbay1, Barbara Coffey1, Xiangling Mao2, Benjamin Ely1, Aviva Panzer1, James S. Babb3, Nora Weiduschat2, Dikoma C Shungu2
1Child Study Center, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, United States; 2Radiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, United States; 3Radiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, United States
Abnormal GABA levels have been linked to Tourettes disorder (TD) in preclinical studies, but no study to date has quantified brain GABA levels in TD subjects in vivo. We hypothesized that in TD subjects, GABA would be decreased in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and striatum, regions strongly implicated in the disorder. Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we determined GABA levels in the ACC in 12 TD subjects and 20 controls, and in the striatum of 8 TD subjects and 8 controls. We found significantly decreased GABA levels in both regions in the TD group relative to the control group.