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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2002 Oct;56(5):499-507.

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the inferior frontal gyrus and thalamus and its relationship to verbal learning task performance in patients with schizophrenia: a preliminary report.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Toyama, Japan.


Previous research has found frontal lobe involvement in memory impairment in schizophrenia. In the present study, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was performed in 13 young patients with schizophrenia and 13 normal control subjects. Spectra were obtained from a voxel of 2 x 2 x 1.5 cm(3) in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and thalamus. Subjects were given a verbal learning task and stimulus category repetition (SCR) was calculated from the performance of the task. Significantly reduced N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/choline-containing compounds ratios were found in the left inferior frontal cortex of patients compared with controls. The total number of words recalled by patients was significantly lower than that recalled by controls. In all subjects, SCR scores were positively correlated with NAA/phosphocreatine ratios of the left inferior frontal cortex, which showed a trend towards a decrease in patients. These results support the notion of metabolic abnormalities in the left inferior frontal region related to verbal memory deficits in patients with schizophrenia.

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