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Frontal lobe of children with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: A proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic study

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      Background:

      Schizophrenia is commonly considered a neurodevelopmental disorder. Our aim was to determine whether the proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic (1H-MRS) changes seen in adults with schizophrenia are displayed in children at risk for developing schizophrenia.

      Methods:

      Children with symptoms of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (n = 16; mean age = 132 months) and a comparison group (n = 12; mean age 130 months) took part in a 1H-MRS study of the left frontal lobe. Areas of peaks from N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cre) were determined and ratios of NAA/Cre and Cho/Cre calculated and compared between groups.

      Results:

      The mean ratio of NAA/Cre was significantly lower in schizophrenia-spectrum subjects than the comparison group (1.67 vs. 1.92; p < .05). Medication status did not affect results in schizophrenia-spectrum subjects.

      Conclusions:

      Our findings suggest that the metabolic changes associated with adult schizophrenia are observed in children with some or all of the symptoms of schizophrenia, supporting a neurodevelopmental theory for schizophrenia.

      Key Words

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