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Brain glutamate in anorexia nervosa: a magnetic resonance spectroscopy case control study at 7 Tesla

Godlewska, BR; Pike, A; Sharpley, AL; Ayton, A; Park, RJ; Cowen, PJ; Emir, UE; (2017) Brain glutamate in anorexia nervosa: a magnetic resonance spectroscopy case control study at 7 Tesla. Psychopharmacology , 234 (3) pp. 421-426. 10.1007/s00213-016-4477-5. Green open access

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Abstract

RATIONALE: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious psychiatric disorder with high morbidity and mortality. There are no established pharmacological treatments and the neurobiology of the condition is poorly understood. Previous studies using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) have shown that AN may be associated with reductions in indices of brain glutamate; however, at conventional field strengths (≤3 T), it is difficult to separate glutamate from its precursor and metabolite, glutamine. OBJECTIVES: The objective of the present study was to use high field (7 T) MRS to measure concentrations of glutamate, in three separate brain voxels, in women with AN. METHODS: We studied 13 female participants with AN and 12 healthy female controls who underwent MRS scanning at 7 T with voxels placed in anterior cingulate cortex, occipital cortex and putamen. Neurometabolites were calculated using the unsuppressed water signal as a reference and corrected for individual cerebrospinal fluid concentration in the voxel. RESULTS: We found that participants with AN had significantly lower concentrations of glutamate in all three voxels (mean reduction 8%, p = 0.002) but glutamine levels were not altered. Concentrations of N-acetylaspartate, creatine, GABA and glutathione were also unchanged. However, inositol was lower in AN participants in anterior cingulate (p = 0.022) and occipital cortex (p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Women with AN apparently have widespread reductions in brain glutamate. Further work will be needed to assess if this change has pathophysiological relevance or whether it is a consequence of the many physical changes produced in AN by food restriction.

Type: Article
Title: Brain glutamate in anorexia nervosa: a magnetic resonance spectroscopy case control study at 7 Tesla
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00213-016-4477-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-016-4477-5
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Anorexia nervosa, Glutamate, Glutamine, Magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Adolescent, Adult, Anorexia Nervosa, Aspartic Acid, Brain, Case-Control Studies, Creatine, Female, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Gyrus Cinguli, Humans, Inositol, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Occipital Lobe, Young Adult, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061494
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