The anterior cingulate region is thought to be dysfunctional in schizophrenia, but whether this is the result of reduced neuronal integrity or changes in neurotransmitter systems remains an issue of debate. Fifteen male patients with schizophrenia and 14 male controls were assessed using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, with regions of interest placed in the right and left dorsal and rostral cingulate. The metabolites of interest were N-acetylaspartate (NAA), a putative neuronal marker, and glutamate + glutamine (Glx), which may index synapse number. Schizophrenia patients had lower NAA concentrations throughout the dorsal and rostral portions of the anterior cingulate and in both hemispheres, but showed no changes in Glx. Anterior cingulate involvement in schizophrenia is likely to be a result of neuronal loss or dysfunction.
- Anterior cingulate
- Proton spectroscopy