Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 71
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825322

The impact of pharmacotherapy on the spectra in magnetic resonance spectroscopy

P Falkai 1
  • 1Dpt. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Saarland, Homburg/Saar, Germany

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a very powerful tool to determine different biological components of brain tissue in the living human brain. There is currently a growing literature suggesting reduced NAA/Cho ratios in the frontal lobe of schizophrenics which would be compatible as a sign for reduced neural integrity in this region. This finding correlates very well with neuropsychological deficits especially concerning working memory domains. Data on first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients seem to suggest that part of these changes are mainly due to the vulnerability to the disorder and not related to medication or other treatment options. On the other hand, there are several studies suggesting a quite clear-cut influence of pharmacotherapy on MRS-spectra in schizophrenia. The goal of this talk is to bring these two lines of data together.