What are neurometabolites?

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used to measure levels of metabolites, such as N-acetylaspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr), trimethylamines/ choline containing compounds (Cho) and glutamine (Gln). These derivatives are indirect indicators of biochemical activity. Alteration in levels of NAA/Cr is associated with the protective myelin sheath surrounding neurons, which is used as a marker of neural cell viability. Decreased levels of NAA are associated with neuron death, or injury to the part of the neuron that connects to other cells, the axon.

What is the evidence for neurometabolite alterations in people with PTSD?

Moderate quality evidence found medium-sized reductions in NAA concentration in the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex of people with PTSD compared to controls. NAA/Cr ratio may also be reduced when compared to non-PTSD samples.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 2:39 am, 2nd August 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

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