Ralf Mekle1, Simone Kuehn2, Tomasz Dawid Lindel1, Florian Schubert1, Juergen Gallinat3, Bernd Ittermann1
1Medical Metrology, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Berlin, Germany; 2Department of Experimental Psychology and Ghent Institute for Functional and Metabolic Imaging, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; 3Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charit University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
The tiny amygdala is believed to a play central role in conditioning, i.e. in the expression of fear and anxiety, which is controlled by inhibitory GABA (γ-aminobutric acid)-ergic circuits. Measurement of GABA levels within the amygdala would allow to explore the neurochemical basis for conditioning and associated pathologies. However, performing MRS in this region is challenging due to its small size and testing B0 and B1 conditions. In this study, short TE 1H MR methodology using the SPECIAL technique was applied to overcome these limitations. GABA was reliably detected (CRLBs<20%) in N=8 volunteers, and slightly elevated concentrations were found.