Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the frontal and temporal lobes of neuroleptic naive patients with schizophrenia

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1999 Feb;20(2):131-40. doi: 10.1016/S0893-133X(98)00063-3.


Studies with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) have reported abnormalities in N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), amino acids (AA) and choline (Cho) to creatine (Cr) ratios associated with schizophrenia. We report data on the three ratios in a sample of 18 neuroleptic naive patients with first-episode schizophrenia (eight studied in the dorsolateral prefrontal and 10 in the midtemporal lobe) and 24 healthy controls (14 studied in prefrontal and 10 in midtemporal lobes). Frontal lobe proton spectra were acquired with the stimulated-echo acquisition mode (STEAM) pulse sequence (echo time 21 ms, repetition time 2 s). Temporal lobe proton spectra were acquired with the point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) pulse sequence (echo time 16-21 ms, repetition time 2 s). Upon comparison with normal controls, NAA/Cr ratios were reduced in patients both for the frontal and the temporal lobe. By contrast, Cho/Cr ratios were slightly elevated in frontal and reduced in temporal lobes; whereas, AA/Cr ratios were normal in frontal and markedly increased in the temporal lobe. The reduced NAA/Cr ratios suggest lower neuronal viability in patients and is consistent with findings of reduced brain volume in both frontal and temporal regions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism*
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism*


  • Antipsychotic Agents