A systematic review and meta-analysis of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mismatch negativity in bipolar disorder

Kate M Chitty, Jim Lagopoulos, Rico S.C Lee, Ian B. Hickie, Daniel F. Hermens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Aberrant glutamate neurotransmission has been implicated in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder with accumulating evidence from imaging, post-mortem and pathology studies. Studies investigating in vivo changes to the glutamatergic system have not been as consistent and warrant clarification. Studies utilizing proton-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) have reported increased levels of combined glutamate and glutamine (“Glx”), which have been linked to impairments in N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function. Similarly, neurophysiological studies utilising mismatch negativity (MMN) as an index of NMDA receptor function, have reported impairments in bipolar disorder. Here, we provide a systematic review of the literature in regards to the concentration of Glx and the magnitude of MMN in bipolar disorder. Separate meta-analyses revealed that bipolar disorder was associated with increased Glx concentration and decreased MMN—both measured frontally. The current findings corroborate previous evidence indicating that bipolar disorder is characterized by a perturbed frontal glutamate system. These observed changes in bipolar disorder might manifest as impairments in neuronal–glial interactions that lead to disrupted neuronal output and ultimately result in the characteristic neurocognitive sequelae associated with this disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1363
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Glutamate
  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Spectroscopy
  • Meta-analysis
  • Frontal lobe

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