Laura M. Rowland1, Kimberly Kontson1, Jef T. West1, He Zhu2, Elena A. Spieker1, Henry H. Holcomb1, Peter B. Barker2
1Psychiatry, MPRC, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology & Radiological Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
This study used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to measure glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) in medial prefrontal (MF) and centrum semiovale (CS) brain regions in healthy and schizophrenia subjects. Results showed reduced MF glutamate+glutamine and higher MF glutamate+glutamine/GABA ratios in chronic schizophrenia. These measures were related to performance on attention tasks. Higher CS NAAG levels were associated with greater negative symptoms in schizophrenia. These results provide further support of altered glutamatergic and GABAergic mechanisms in schizophrenia and illustrate the feasibility of in vivo measurements of GABA, glutamate, and NAAG in a single MR scan session.