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Schizophr Bull. 1993;19(1):35-53.

31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy: neurodevelopment and schizophrenia.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh/WPIC, Graduate School of Public Health, PA 15213.


A number of studies have demonstrated alterations in the structure and function of the frontolimbic system in some schizophrenic patients. Recent in vivo phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance studies of the dorsal prefrontal cortex in neuroleptic-naive, first-episode schizophrenic patients and matched controls have shown evidence of alterations in membrane phospholipid and energy metabolism. The membrane alterations observed in the schizophrenic patients are compatible with either premature aging or altered timing and exaggeration of regressive events occurring during normal brain development. These molecular changes may precede onset of clinical symptoms and brain structural changes in schizophrenia and suggest fresh approaches to the pathogenesis and treatment of this illness.

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