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Fronto-Striatal Glutamate in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Naaijen, Jilly; Zwiers, Marcel P; Amiri, Houshang; Williams, Steven C R; Durston, Sarah; Oranje, Bob; Brandeis, Daniel; Boecker-Schlier, Regina; Ruf, Matthias; Wolf, Isabella; Banaschewski, Tobias; Glennon, Jeffrey C; Franke, Barbara; Buitelaar, Jan K; Lythgoe, David J (2016). Fronto-Striatal Glutamate in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are often comorbid with the overlap based on compulsive behaviors. Although previous studies suggest glutamatergic deficits in fronto-striatal brain areas in both disorders, this is the first study to directly compare the glutamate concentrations across the two disorders with those in healthy control participants using both categorical and dimensional approaches. In the current multi-center study (four centers), we used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 51 children with ASD, 29 with OCD, and 53 healthy controls (aged 8-13 years) to investigate glutamate (Glu) concentrations in two regions of the fronto-striatal circuit: midline anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and left dorsal striatum. Spectra were processed with Linear Combination Model. Group comparisons were performed with one-way analyses of variance including sex, medication use, and scanner site as covariates. In addition, a dimensional analysis was performed, linking glutamate with a continuous measure of compulsivity across disorders. There was a main group effect for ACC glutamate (p=0.019). Contrast analyses showed increased glutamate both in children with ASD and OCD compared with controls (p=0.007), but no differences between the two disorders (p=0.770). Dimensional analyses revealed a positive correlation between compulsive behavior (measured with the Repetitive Behavior Scale) and ACC glutamate (rho=0.24, p=0.03). These findings were robust across sites. No differences were found in the striatum. The current findings confirm overlap between ASD and OCD in terms of glutamate involvement. Glutamate concentration in ACC seems to be associated with the severity of compulsive behavior.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 14 December 2016; doi:10.1038/npp.2016.260.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are often comorbid with the overlap based on compulsive behaviors. Although previous studies suggest glutamatergic deficits in fronto-striatal brain areas in both disorders, this is the first study to directly compare the glutamate concentrations across the two disorders with those in healthy control participants using both categorical and dimensional approaches. In the current multi-center study (four centers), we used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 51 children with ASD, 29 with OCD, and 53 healthy controls (aged 8-13 years) to investigate glutamate (Glu) concentrations in two regions of the fronto-striatal circuit: midline anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and left dorsal striatum. Spectra were processed with Linear Combination Model. Group comparisons were performed with one-way analyses of variance including sex, medication use, and scanner site as covariates. In addition, a dimensional analysis was performed, linking glutamate with a continuous measure of compulsivity across disorders. There was a main group effect for ACC glutamate (p=0.019). Contrast analyses showed increased glutamate both in children with ASD and OCD compared with controls (p=0.007), but no differences between the two disorders (p=0.770). Dimensional analyses revealed a positive correlation between compulsive behavior (measured with the Repetitive Behavior Scale) and ACC glutamate (rho=0.24, p=0.03). These findings were robust across sites. No differences were found in the striatum. The current findings confirm overlap between ASD and OCD in terms of glutamate involvement. Glutamate concentration in ACC seems to be associated with the severity of compulsive behavior.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 14 December 2016; doi:10.1038/npp.2016.260.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:14 December 2016
Deposited On:20 Apr 2017 12:52
Last Modified:31 May 2017 07:47
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0893-133X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2016.260
PubMed ID:27869141

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