Clinical Research Papers:
The relationship between the alterations in metabolite levels in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and clinical symptoms of patients with first-episode schizophrenia: a one year follow-up study
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Manli Huang1, Wuqiu Guo2, Shaojia Lu1, Fen Pan1, Jinkai Chen1, Jianbo Hu1, Shaohua Hu1, Weijuan Xu1, Desheng Shang3 and Yi Xu1
1Department of Psychiatry, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, The Key Laboratory of Mental Disorder’s Management of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310003, China
2Department of Psychology and Behavioral Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310028, China
3Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, The Key Laboratory of Mental Disorder’s Management of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou 310003, China
Yi Xu, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manli Huang, email: email@example.com
Keywords: dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC); MRS; PANSS; schizophrenia; N-acetylaspartate (NAA)
Received: July 19, 2017 Accepted: November 15, 2017 Epub: January 04, 2018 Published: January 15, 2019
Background: Reduced brain metabolites such as N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), glutamate (Glx), Choline (Cho) and myo-inositol (MI) have been repeatedly found in first-episode schizophrenia (FES) and suggest neuronal loss or dysfunction. However, the potential relationship between the metabolite level and the clinical symptoms or the recovery of FES remained unclear.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the correlation between the alterations in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) metabolite levels of patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FES) and the changes in clinical symptoms after one year treatment.
Materials and Methods: FES patients underwent 1H-MRS scan twice: one time at the baseline and the other one year later, while the healthy group patients underwent only once at the baseline time. The symptom severity of patients was measured by PANSS.
Principal Observations: An increase in the NAA/Cr level was detected in the left DLPFC of patients with FES. The change in the NAA/Cr level was significantly correlated with the alteration in their PANSS-P score. The Cho/Cr levels on both sides of DLPFC in patients with FES were lower compared with the healthy controls both at the baseline and after the treatment. The NAA/Cr and MI/Cr levels in the right DLPFC were decreased after the treatment.
Conclusions: (1) the depletion of NAA in left DLPFC might be a state characteristic; (2) the Cho/Cr level might be the potential endophenotype of schizophrenia; (3) the decrease of NAA/Cr and MI/Cr level in right DLPFC might be due to the development of schizophrenia.
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