Decreased left frontal lobe N-acetylaspartate in schizophrenia

Raymond F. Deicken, Ling Zhou, Faith Corwin, Sophia Vinogradov, Michael W. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors measured N-acetylaspartate (a putative neuronal marker), using in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H- MRSI), in the frontal lobes of schizophrenic patients and normal subjects. Method: Frontal lobe 1H-MRSI was performed bilaterally on 24 medicated schizophrenic patients and 15 healthy comparison subjects. Levels of N- acetylaspartate, creatine, and choline were determined. Results: Relative to the comparison group, the patients with schizophrenia demonstrated significantly lower levels of N-acetylaspartate in the left frontal lobe. There was no association between level of N-acetylaspartate and duration of illness or medication dosage. No differences between groups or lateralized asymmetries in choline or creatine were noted. Conclusions: This preliminary study provides support for decreased N-acetylaspartate in the left frontal lobe in schizophrenia and neuronal dysfunction in this brain region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-690
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997


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