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Abstract #2026

Neuromelanin MRI as biomarker for treatment resistance in first episode schizophrenia patients

Marieke Van der Pluijm1, Pascalle Nadine Reijers1, Kenneth Wengler2, Lieuwe De Haan1, Jan Booij1, Guillermo Horga2, and Elsmarieke Van de Giessen1
1Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, United States


The current study assesses neuromelanin sensitive MRI (NM-MRI) as a potential biomarker for treatment resistance (TR) in first episode schizophrenia patients. NM-MRI is a novel MRI sequence, which indirectly measures dopamine synthesis. Research using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging suggest that TR patients show lower dopamine synthesis than responders. We acquired NM-MRI in 61 first episodes schizophrenia patients. Treatment response was determined during 6 months follow-up. TR patients showed significantly lower NM-MRI signal compared to responders. These findings are in line with previous PET studies and demonstrate the potential of NM-MRI as alternative and more accessible biomarker for TR.

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