What are neurometabolites in PTSD?

Metabolites include 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 ratio is associated with reduction in the protective myelin sheath surrounding neurons. Decreased levels of NAA are associated with neuron death, or injury to the part of the neuron that connects to other cells, the axon. Alterations in some neurometabolites have been found in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and these have been investigated in PTSD.

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.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 12:54 am, 11th October 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

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