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Abstract #1311

Bilateral sensorimotor GABA correlation is not driven by voxel segmentation

Nicolaas AJ Puts 1,2 , Stephanie Heba 3 , Ashley D. Harris 1,2 , David J. McGonigle 4,5 , C. John Evans 5 , Hubert Dinse 6 , Martin Tegenthoff 3 , Tobias Schmidt-Wilcke 3 , and Richard A. Edden 1,2

1 Russell H. Morgan Dept. of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 2 F.M. Kirby Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 3 Dept. of Neurology, BG-klinikum Bergmannsheil, Ruhr - University, Bochum, Germany, 4 School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, 5 CUBRIC/School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, 6 Neural Plasticity lab, Institute for Neuroinformatics, Ruhr - University Bochum, Bochum, Germany

Recent GABA MRS studies have shown links between brain GABA and behavior, brain activity, and disease. However, no studies to date have shown correlations in GABA concentration between regions, suggesting regional and functionally specificity. In this study, we measure GABA levels in left and right sensorimotor (SM1) cortex, two homologous regions known to be functionally connected. In two separate cohorts and sites, we found that GABA levels correlate significantly between left and right SM1. Although voxel tissue composition is highly correlated between sides, this does not explain significant variance in the GABA concentration or its bilateral correlation. This strongly supports the idea that individual differences in GABA reflect differences in tissue microstructure (e.g. density of GABAergic neurons) rather than bulk tissue properties. This work is important for understanding brain connectivity as well as brain plasticity.

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