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Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Nov 1;58(9):700-4. Epub 2005 Aug 8.

Reduced anterior cingulate glutamate in pediatric major depression: a magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.



Anterior cingulate cortex has been implicated in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). With single voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we reported reductions in anterior cingulate glutamatergic concentrations (grouped value of glutamate and glutamine) in 14 pediatric MDD patients versus 14 case-matched healthy control subjects. These changes might reflect a change in glutamate, glutamine, or their combination.


Fitting to individually quantify anterior cingulate glutamate and glutamine was performed in these subjects with a new basis set created from data acquired on a 1.5 Tesla General Electric Signa (GE Healthcare, Waukesha, Wisconsin) magnetic resonance imaging scanner with LCModel (Version 6.1-0; Max-Planck-Institute, Gottingen, Germany).


Reduced anterior cingulate glutamate was observed in MDD patients versus control subjects (8.79 +/- 1.68 vs. 11.46 +/- 1.55, respectively, p = .0002; 23% decrease). Anterior cingulate glutamine did not differ significantly between patients with MDD and control subjects.


These findings provide confirmatory evidence of anterior cingulate glutamate alterations in pediatric MDD.

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