In vivo assessment of neurotransmitters and modulators with magnetic resonance spectroscopy: Application to schizophrenia

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In vivo measurement of neurotransmitters and modulators is now feasible with advanced proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) techniques. This review provides a basic tutorial of MRS, describes the methods available to measure brain glutamate, glutamine, γ-aminobutyric acid, glutathione, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, glycine, and serine at magnetic field strengths of 3 T or higher, and summarizes the neurochemical findings in schizophrenia. Overall, 1H MRS holds great promise for producing biomarkers that can serve as treatment targets, prediction of disease onset, or illness exacerbation in schizophrenia and other brain diseases.

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