From the Department of Radiology, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado (M.S.B.); Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado (D.S., S.H., D.C.R.); Colorado Translational Research Imaging Center, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado (M.S.B., D.S., D.C.R.); JFK Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado (S.H.)
Increased Glutamate Concentration in the Auditory Cortex of Persons With Autism and First-Degree Relatives: A 1H-MRS Study
Version of Record online: 16 NOV 2012
© 2012 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 1–10, February 2013
How to Cite
Brown, M. S., Singel, D., Hepburn, S. and Rojas, D. C. (2013), Increased Glutamate Concentration in the Auditory Cortex of Persons With Autism and First-Degree Relatives: A 1H-MRS Study. Autism Res, 6: 1–10. doi: 10.1002/aur.1260
Grant information: NIH/NIMH grant R01 MH082820 and NIH/NCRR Colorado CTSI grant UL1 RR025780.
- Issue online: 20 FEB 2013
- Version of Record online: 16 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 APR 2012
- NIH/NIMH grant. Grant Number: R01 MH082820
- NIH/NCRR Colorado CTSI grant. Grant Number: UL1 RR025780
- auditory cortex
Increased glutamate levels have been reported in the hippocampal and frontal regions of persons with autism using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Although autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are highly heritable, MRS studies have not included relatives of persons with ASD. We therefore conducted a study to determine if glutamate levels are elevated in people with autism and parents of children with autism. Single-voxel, point-resolved spectroscopy data were acquired at 3T for left and right hemisphere auditory cortical voxels in 13 adults with autism, 15 parents of children with autism, and 15 adult control subjects. The primary measure was glutamate + glutamine (Glx). Additional measures included n-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), myoinositol (mI), and creatine (Cr). The autism group had significantly higher Glx, NAA, and Cr concentrations than the control subjects. Parents did not differ from control subjects on any measures. No significant differences in Cho or mI levels were seen among groups. No reliable correlations between autism symptom measures, and MRS variables were seen after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. The elevation in Glx in autism is consistent with prior MRS data in the hippocampus and frontal lobe and may suggest increased cortical excitability. Increased NAA and Cr may indicate brain metabolism disturbances in autism. In the current study, we found no reliable evidence of a familial effect for any spectroscopy measure. This may indicate that these metabolites have no heritable component in autism, the presence of a compensatory factor in parents, or sample-specific limitations such as the participation of singleton families. Autism Res 2012, ●●:●●–●●. © 2012 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.