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

37 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.


  • Adolescence
  • Basal ganglia
  • Cannabis
  • Glutamate


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