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Examining neurometabolic abnormalities in critical brain areas in schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (MDD) may help guide future pharmacological interventions including glutamate-modulating treatments.
To measure metabolite concentrations within the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and thalamus of people with schizophrenia and people with MDD.
Spectra were acquired from 16 volunteers with schizophrenia, 17 with MDD and 18 healthy controls using magnetic resonance spectroscopy on a 7 Tesla scanner.
In the thalamus, there were lower glycine concentrations in the schizophrenia group relative to control (P=0.017) and MDD groups (P=0.012), and higher glutamine concentrations relative to healthy controls (P=0.009). In the thalamus and the ACC, the MDD group had lower myo-inositol concentrations than the control (P=0.014, P=0.009, respectively) and schizophrenia (P=0.004, P=0.002, respectively) groups.
These results support the glutamatergic theory of schizophrenia and indicate a potential glycine deficiency in the thalamus. In addition, reduced myo-inositol concentrations in MDD suggest its involvement in the disorder.
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