Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) studies have examined glutamatergic abnormalities in schizophrenia, mostly in single voxels. Though the critical brain nodes remain unknown, schizophrenia involves networks with broad abnormalities. Hence, glutamine plus glutamate (Glx) and other metabolites were examined with whole-brain 1H-MRS, in early schizophrenia. Three dimensional 1H-MRS was acquired in young schizophrenia subjects (N = 36, 19 antipsychotic-naïve and 17 antipsychotic-treated) and healthy controls (HC, N = 29). Glx (as well as N-acetylaspartate, choline, myo-inositol and creatine) group contrasts from all individual voxels that met spectral quality, were analyzed in common brain space, followed by cluster-corrected level alpha-value (CCLAV ≤ 0.05). Schizophrenia subjects had lower Glx in the left superior (STG) and middle temporal gyri (16 voxels, CCLAV = 0.04) and increased creatine in two clusters involving left temporal, parietal and occipital regions (32, and 18 voxels, CCLAV = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively). Antipsychotic-treated and naïve patients (vs HC) had similar Glx reductions (8/16 vs 10/16 voxels respectively, but CCLAV’s ' 0.05). However, creatine was higher in antipsychotic-treated vs HC’s in a larger left hemisphere cluster (100 voxels, CCLAV = 0.01). Also in treated patients, choline was increased in left middle frontal gyrus (18 voxels, CCLAV = 0.04). Finally in antipsychotic-naive patients, NAA was reduced in right frontal gyri (19 voxels, CCLAV = 0.05) and myo-inositol was reduced in the left cerebellum (34 voxels, CCLAV = 0.02). We conclude that data-driven spectroscopic brain examination supports that reductions in Glx in the left STG may be critical to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Postmortem and neuromodulation schizophrenia studies focusing on left STG, may provide critical mechanistic and therapeutic advancements, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health