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Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Jun;161(6):1116-8.

3-T proton MRS investigation of glutamate and glutamine in adolescents at high genetic risk for schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Glutamate and glutamine were examined in vivo in nonpsychotic adolescents at high genetic risk for schizophrenia by using 3-T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS).


Spectra from the right medial frontal lobe of 20 adolescents who had a parent with schizophrenia (high-risk group; mean age=16.4 years) were compared with spectra obtained from adolescent offspring of parents with no history of schizophrenia (low-risk group; mean age=16.7 years).


Glutamate/glutamine was significantly higher in the adolescents at high genetic risk for schizophrenia than in the low-risk offspring. Age, premorbid adjustment scale scores, and other (1)H-MRS metabolites did not differ between groups. Global Assessment of Functioning Scale scores and socioeconomic status were lower in the high-risk group.


The finding of glutamate/glutamine abnormalities in a group of subjects at high genetic risk for schizophrenia lends support for both the glutamate dysfunction and neurodevelopmental hypotheses for schizophrenia.

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