Lawrence S. Kegeles1,2, Xiangling Mao3, Arielle Stanford1, Najate Ojeil1, Beatriz Alvarez1, Ragy R. Girgis1, Roberto Gil1, Anissa Abi-Dargham1,2, Sarah H. Lisanby1, Dikoma C. Shungu3
1Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; 2Radiology, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; 3Radiology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY, United States
We used proton MRS to evaluate GABA and glutamate-glutamine (Glx) levels in frontal cortex in schizophrenia, an illness in which postmortem studies suggest frontal cortex GABA deficits. In the anterior cingulate but not the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we instead found elevations in GABA and Glx in unmedicated patients compared to controls and medicated patients. These findings are opposite to the deficits found in major depression. They also suggest that antipsychotic medications may lower frontal GABA and glutamate to the normal range. These results are discussed in relation to postmortem GABA data and the NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis of schizophrenia.