Low levels of N-acetyl aspartate in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of pediatric bipolar patients

Rene L. Olvera, Sheila C. Caetano, Manoela Fonseca, Mark Nicoletti, Jeffrey A. Stanley, Hsuan Chen Hua, John P. Hatch, Kristina Hunter, Steven R. Pliszka, Jair C. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Increasing evidence suggests abnormalities in the structure, function, and neurochemistry of the frontal cortex in pediatric bipolar (BP) patients. We conducted a single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of pediatric BP patients, expecting lower N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) levels within that brain region compared to healthy comparison subjects. Methods: We studied 35 pediatric BP (23 BP type I, 12 BP type II; mean age ± SD = 13.2 ± 2.9 years; 18 females) and 36 healthy controls (mean age ± SD = 13.7 ± 2.6 years, 17 females). A short echo time, single-voxel 1H spectroscopy approach point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) sequence, measurements of metabolites was performed on a 1.5T Philips MR system. Results: BP subjects had significantly lower NAA levels in the left DLPFC compared to healthy controls (F = 4.21, df = 1, 68, p = 0.04). There was not a significant difference between groups for phosphocreatine + creatine (PCr+Cr), glycerolphosphocholine + phosphocholine (GPC+PC), myo-inositol (ml), or glutamate. Further analyses revealed a significant reduction of NAA in our early puberty group compared to controls (Mann-Whitney U-test statistic = 52.00, p = 0.014), but not for BP versus controls in other pubertal groups. Conclusions: BP subjects have lower NAA levels in the left DLPFC compared to healthy subjects, suggesting neuronal dysfunction in this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-473
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Low levels of N-acetyl aspartate in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of pediatric bipolar patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this