Specific Relationship Between Prefrontal Neuronal N -Acetylaspartate and Activation of the Working Memory Cortical Network in Schizophrenia
ABSTRACT Abnormal activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and a related cortical network during working memory tasks has been demonstrated in patients with schizophrenia, but the responsible mechanism has not been identified. The present study was performed to determine whether neuronal pathology of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is linked to the activation of the working memory cortical network in patients with schizophrenia.
The brains of 13 patients with schizophrenia and 13 comparison subjects were studied with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic ((1)H-MRS) imaging (to measure N-acetylaspartate as a marker of neuronal pathology) and with [(15)O]water positron emission tomography (PET) during performance of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (to measure activation of the working memory cortical network). An independent cohort of patients (N=7) was also studied in a post hoc experiment with (1)H-MRS imaging and with the same PET technique during performance of another working memory task (the "N-back" task).
Measures of N-acetylaspartate in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex strongly correlated with activation of the distributed working memory network, including the dorsolateral prefrontal, temporal, and inferior parietal cortices, during both working memory tasks in the two independent groups of patients with schizophrenia. In contrast, N-acetylaspartate in other cortical regions and in comparison subjects did not show these relationships.
These findings directly implicate a population of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons as selectively accounting for the activity of the distributed working memory cortical network in schizophrenia and complement other evidence that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity is fundamental to the pathophysiology of the disorder.
- SourceAvailable from: M. Victoria PuigPsychiatric Disorders - Worldwide Advances, 10/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-833-5
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study investigated the clinical and neuropsychological correlates of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) concentration in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in schizophrenia, and explored whether ACC NAA concentration is sensitive to symptom change following cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis (CBTp). Participants comprised 30 patients and 15 healthy controls who underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the ACC and were assessed on frontal lobe based neuropsychological tasks. Twenty-four (of 30) patients were followed-up; 11 subsequently received 8-9 months of CBTp in addition to standard care (CBTp+SC) and 13 received SC only. At baseline (i) NAA and Cr concentrations were lower in patients compared to controls, (ii) in patients, NAA concentration correlated inversely with positive symptoms and general psychopathology (positive symptoms explained 21% of the variance; total variance explained=25%) and Cho concentration correlated inversely with positive symptoms, and (iii) in controls, NAA concentration correlated positively with working and short-term memory and Cr concentration inversely with executive function. NAA concentration tended to increase in CBTp+SC patients at follow-up (n=7 with usable data) concomitant with improvement in positive symptoms. NAA concentration may be more closely associated with symptoms and symptom change than frontal lobe based neuropsychological function in schizophrenia, perhaps because the latter is relatively stable during the long-term illness course.Psychiatry Research 06/2010; 182(3):251-60. DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.02.008 · 2.68 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a debilitating chronic mental disorder characterized by significant lifetime risk and high social costs. Although its etiology remains unknown, many of its symptoms may be mitigated by treatment with antipsychotic drugs (APDs). These compounds, generally classified as first- or second-generation antipsychotics, have complex receptor profiles that may account for short-term clinical response and normalization of acute manifestation of the disease. However, APDs have additional therapeutic properties that may not be directly related to receptor mechanisms, but rather involve neuroadaptive changes in selected brain regions. Indeed the neurodevelopmental origin of schizophrenia suggests that the disease is characterized by neuroanatomical and pathophysiological impairments that, at molecular level, may reflect compromised neuroplasticity; the process by which the brain adapts to changes in a specific environment. Accordingly, it is possible that the long-term clinical efficacy of APDs might result from their ability in modulating systems crucially involved in neuroplasticity and cellular resilience. We have reviewed and discussed the results of several studies investigating the post-receptor mechanisms in the action of APDs. We specifically focused on intracellular signaling cascades (PKA, DARPP-32, MAPK, Akt/GSK-3, beta arrestin-2), neurotrophic factors and the glutamatergic system as important mediators for antipsychotic drug induced-neuroplasticity. Altogether, these data highlight the possibility that post-receptor mechanisms will eventually be promising targets for the development of novel drugs that, through their impact on neuroplasticity, may contribute to the improved treatment of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.Pharmacology [?] Therapeutics 07/2009; 124(1):74-85. DOI:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2009.06.001 · 7.75 Impact Factor