Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Distinct associations between fronto-striatal glutamate concentrations and callous-unemotional traits and proactive aggression in disruptive behavior


Abstract

Disruptive behavior is associated with societally and personally problematic levels of aggression and has been linked to abnormal structure and function of fronto-amygdala-striatal regions. Abnormal glutamatergic signalling within this network may play a role in aggression. However, disruptive behavior does not represent a homogeneous construct, but can be fractionated across several dimensions. Of particular interest, callous-unemotional (CU) traits have been shown to modulate the severity, neural and behavioural characterisation, and therapeutic outcomes of disruptive behaviour disorders (DBDs) and aggression. Further, individuals showing disruptive behavior differ to the extent that they engage in subtypes of aggression (i.e., proactive [PA] and reactive aggression [RA]) which may also represent distinct therapeutic targets. Here we investigated how glutamate signalling within the fronto-amygdala-striatal circuitry was altered along these dimensions in youths showing disruptive behavior (n = 140) and typically developing controls (TD, n = 93) within the age-range of 8-18 years. We used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-MRS) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), striatum, amygdala and insula and associated glutamate concentrations with continuous measures of aggression and CU-traits using linear mixed-effects models. We found evidence of a dissociation for the different measures and glutamate concentrations. CU traits were associated with increased ACC glutamate ('callousness': b = .19, t (108) = 2.63, p = .01, r = .25; 'uncaring': b = .18, t (108) = 2.59, p = .011, r = .24) while PA was associated with decreased striatal glutamate concentration (b = -.23, t (28) = -3.02, p = .005, r = .50). These findings suggest dissociable correlates of CU traits and PA in DBDs, and indicate that the ACC and striatal glutamate may represent novel pharmacological targets in treating these different aspects.

Abstract

Disruptive behavior is associated with societally and personally problematic levels of aggression and has been linked to abnormal structure and function of fronto-amygdala-striatal regions. Abnormal glutamatergic signalling within this network may play a role in aggression. However, disruptive behavior does not represent a homogeneous construct, but can be fractionated across several dimensions. Of particular interest, callous-unemotional (CU) traits have been shown to modulate the severity, neural and behavioural characterisation, and therapeutic outcomes of disruptive behaviour disorders (DBDs) and aggression. Further, individuals showing disruptive behavior differ to the extent that they engage in subtypes of aggression (i.e., proactive [PA] and reactive aggression [RA]) which may also represent distinct therapeutic targets. Here we investigated how glutamate signalling within the fronto-amygdala-striatal circuitry was altered along these dimensions in youths showing disruptive behavior (n = 140) and typically developing controls (TD, n = 93) within the age-range of 8-18 years. We used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-MRS) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), striatum, amygdala and insula and associated glutamate concentrations with continuous measures of aggression and CU-traits using linear mixed-effects models. We found evidence of a dissociation for the different measures and glutamate concentrations. CU traits were associated with increased ACC glutamate ('callousness': b = .19, t (108) = 2.63, p = .01, r = .25; 'uncaring': b = .18, t (108) = 2.59, p = .011, r = .24) while PA was associated with decreased striatal glutamate concentration (b = -.23, t (28) = -3.02, p = .005, r = .50). These findings suggest dissociable correlates of CU traits and PA in DBDs, and indicate that the ACC and striatal glutamate may represent novel pharmacological targets in treating these different aspects.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 24 Oct 2019
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:19 September 2019
Deposited On:24 Oct 2019 08:01
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:32
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0010-9452
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2019.08.017
PubMed ID:31622899
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID602805
  • : Project TitleAggression subtyping for improved insight and treatment innovation in psychiatric disorders
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID603016
  • : Project TitleMultidisciplinary Approaches to Translational Research In Conduct Syndromes

Download

Closed Access: Download allowed only for UZH members