1H-MR spectroscopy and gray matter volume of the anterior cingulate cortex in schizophrenia

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Schizophrenic and normal control subjects were examined using both 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and structural MR imaging, in order to accurately assess the partial volume within the spectroscopic volume of interest (VOI) in the anterior cingulate cortex. The gray matter volume within VOI correlated positively with the N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) to choline (Cho) ratio in schizophrenics only, not in controls. Schizophrenic patients had a reduced NAA/Cho ratio and an elevated Cho/creatine ratio compared to controls after the partial volume effect was eliminated. There was a significant negative correlation between the NAA/Cho ratio and the severity of blunted affect symptom in schizophrenics. These results provide further support to the idea that the measures of 1H-MRS indicate not only neuronal loss but also neuronal dysfunction in schizophrenia.

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