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Shanghai Arch Psychiatry. 2016 Oct 25;28(5):263-270. doi: 10.11919/j.issn.1002-0829.216043.

Brain Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Concentration of the Prefrontal Lobe in Unmedicated Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Research of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.

Author information

1
Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

in English, Chinese

BACKGROUND:

In recent years, a large number of neuroimaging studies found that the Cortico-Striato- Thalamo-Cortical circuit (CSTC), including the prefrontal lobe, a significant part of CSTC, has disturbance metabolically in patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

AIM:

Explore the correlation between the neuro-metabolic features and clinical characteristics of OCD patients using magnetic resonance spectroscopy technology.

METHODS:

88 patients with OCD who were not received medication and outpatient treatment for 8 weeks and 76 health controls were enrolled, there was no significant difference in gender, age or education level between the two groups. SIEMENS 3.0T MRI scanner was used to measure the spectral wave of Orbito Frontal Cortex (OFC) and Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) of participants, setting mega-press sequences. Meanwhile, the concentrations of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamine/glutamate complex (Glx) and N-Acetyl Aspartate (NAA) were measured relative to concentration of water, on the ACC and OFC of participants, for statistical analysis via LC model version 6.3 software. The concentration of metabolic substances of the OCD group compared to the healthy control group was analyzed using two sample t-test. The correlation between substance concentration and scores on the scales, including Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), Hamilton Anxiety scale (HAMA) and Hamilton Depression scale (HAMD) was carried out using the Pearson correlation method.

RESULTS:

Compared with healthy controls, the GABA/W and NAA/W concentration in individuals with OCD are significantly decreased (p=0.031, t=2.193, p=0.002, t=3.223). Also, the concentration of GABA/W had a trend of decrease in the ACC. The GABA/W of the OFC had a negative correlation with Y-BOCS-O, Y-BOCS-C and Y-BOCS-T scores (p=0.037, r=0.221; p=0.007, r=0.283; p=0.014, r=0.259).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results support that GABA concentration in the OFC area of patients with OCD is significantly decreased and the concentration in the ACC has a trend of decreasing. All of these indicate that there is a relationship between the GABA concentration and the psychopathology of OCD.

KEYWORDS:

China; anterior cingulate cortex; gamma-aminobutyric acid; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; obsessive-compulsive disorder; orbitofrontal cortex

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