In vivo 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy in young-adult daily marijuana users

Ryan L. Muetzel, Malgorzata Marjanska, Paul F Collins, Mary P Becker, Romain Valabrègue, Edward J Auerbach, Kelvin O Lim, Monica M Luciana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To date, there has been little work describing the neurochemical profile of young, heavy marijuana users. In this study, we examined 27 young-adult marijuana users and 26 healthy controls using single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy on a 3 T scanner. The voxel was placed in the dorsal striatum, and estimated concentrations of glutamate + glutamine, myo-inositol, taurine + glucose, total choline and total N-acetylaspartate were examined between groups. There were no overall group effects, but two metabolites showed group by sex interactions. Lower levels of glutamate + glutamine (scaled to total creatine) were observed in female, but not male, marijuana users compared to controls. Higher levels of myo-inositol were observed in female users compared to female non-users and to males in both groups. Findings are discussed in relation to patterns of corticostriatal connectivity and function, in the context of marijuana abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-589
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant R01DA017843 awarded to M. Luciana by the National Institute on Drug Abuse , by grant R01AA020033 awarded to M. Luciana by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism , by the University of Minnesota's Center for Neurobehavioral Development , by grants P41 RR008079 ( NCRR ), P41 EB015894 ( NIBIB ) and P30 NS057091 ( NINDS ) awarded to the University of Minnesota's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, and by the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute . We are grateful for the contributions of the research staff who helped with subject recruitment and data acquisition, including Zach Grice-Patil, Daniel Johnson, James Porter, Ann Schissel, Brittany Schmaling, and Sasha Sommerfeldt. We would also like to thank the participants who partook in this research.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adolescence
  • Basal ganglia
  • Cannabis
  • Glutamate

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