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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Apr;157(4):644-7.

Reduced concentrations of thalamic N-acetylaspartate in male patients with schizophrenia.

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1
Magnetic Resonance Unit, VA Medical Center, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The authors measured N-acetylaspartate (a putative neuronal marker) in the right and left thalamus of 17 male patients with schizophrenia using in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging ((1)H MRSI).

METHOD:

(1)H MRSI was performed on 17 medicated male patients with schizophrenia and 10 male comparison subjects. Concentrations of N-acetylaspartate, creatine, and choline were determined in the thalamic regions bilaterally.

RESULTS:

The patients with schizophrenia demonstrated significantly lower concentrations of N-acetylaspartate than the comparison subjects in both the right and left thalamic regions. Right thalamic N-acetylaspartate and left thalamic N-acetylaspartate were significantly correlated in the patients but not in the comparison subjects. There was no association between N-acetylaspartate and duration of illness or medication dose. No group differences or lateralized asymmetries in choline or creatine were noted.

CONCLUSIONS:

The finding of reduced concentrations of N-acetylaspartate bilaterally suggests neuronal dysfunction and/or loss in both the right and left thalamic regions in male patients with schizophrenia.

PMID:
10739431
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.157.4.644
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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