A Longitudinal Multimodal Neuroimaging Study to Examine Relationships Between Resting State Glutamate and Task Related BOLD Response in Schizophrenia

Academic Article


  • Previous studies have observed impairments in both brain function and neurometabolite levels in schizophrenia. In this study, we investigated the relationship between brain activity and neurochemistry in off-medication patients with schizophrenia and if this relationship is altered following antipsychotic medication by combining proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We used single voxel MRS acquired in the bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and fMRI during performance of a Stroop color-naming task in 22 patients with schizophrenia (SZ), initially off-medication and after a 6-week course of risperidone, and 20 matched healthy controls (HC) twice, 6 weeks apart. We observed a significant decrease in ACC glutamate + glutamine (Glx)/Creatine (Cr) levels in medicated SZ patients compared to HC but not compared to their off-medication baseline. In off-medication SZ, the relationship between ACC Glx/Cr levels and the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response in regions of the salience network (SN) and posterior default mode network (DMN) was opposite than of HC. After 6 weeks, the relationship between Glx and the BOLD response was still opposite between the groups; however for both groups the direction of the relationship changed from baseline to week 6. These results suggest a mechanism whereby alterations in the relationship between cortical glutamate and BOLD response is disrupting the modulation of major neural networks subserving cognitive processes, potentially affecting cognition. While these relationships appear to normalize with treatment in patients, the interpretations of the results are confounded by significant group differences in Glx levels, as well as the variability of the relationship between Glx and BOLD response in HC over time, which may be driven by factors including habituation to task or scanner environment.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cadena EJ; White DM; Kraguljac NV; Reid MA; Maximo JO; Nelson EA; Gawronski BA; Lahti AC
  • Volume

  • 9