Objective: The authors used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H-MRSI) to assess potential reductions of N-acetylaspartate (a marker of neuronal integrity) in the hippocampal area and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophreniform disorder. In addition, they assessed the relationship between N-acetylaspartate levels and working memory deficits. Method: Twenty-four patients with DSM-IV schizophreniform disorder and 24 healthy subjects were studied. Subjects underwent 1H-MRSI and were given the N-back working memory test. Results: The schizophreniform disorder patients had selective reductions of N-acetylaspartate ratios in the hippocampal area and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and a positive correlation was seen between N-acetylaspartate ratios in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and performance during the 2-back working memory condition. Conclusions: Similar to findings reported in schizophrenia studies, N-acetylaspartate reductions in the hippocampal area and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were seen in patients with schizophreniform disorder. Moreover, the results support other evidence that neuronal pathology in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex accounts for a proportion of working memory deficits already present at illness outset.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health