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Metabolite alterations in the hippocampus of high-functioning adult subjects with autism

  • Katsuaki Suzuki (a1), Katsuhiko Nishimura (a2), Genichi Sugihara (a1), Kazuhiko Nakamura (a2), Kenji J. Tsuchiya (a1), Kaori Matsumoto (a1), Kiyokazu Takebayashi (a2), Haruo Isoda (a3), Harumi Sakahara (a3), Toshiro Sugiyama (a4), Masatsugu Tsujii (a5), Nori Takei (a1) and Norio Mori (a2)...

The aim of the present study was to investigate metabolite alterations in the hippocampal formation as they relate to aggression in high-functioning adults with autism. We measured concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline-containing compounds (Cho), and creatine plus phosphocreatine (Cr+PCr) in the hippocampal formation by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 12 non-medicated male subjects with autism and 12 age- and sex-matched controls. Aggression was scored in the autistic subjects using the Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire. The concentrations of Cho and Cr+PCr in the hippocampal formation in autistic subjects were significantly higher than the corresponding values in control subjects, and a significant positive correlation was observed between the concentrations of these metabolites in the hippocampal formation and scores on the Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire in autistic subjects. Results suggest that high-functioning adult subjects with autism have abnormal metabolite concentrations in the hippocampal formation, which may in part account for their aggression.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr K. Suzuki, Osaka-Hamamatsu Joint Research Center for Child Mental Development, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 1-20-1 Handayama, Higashi, Hamamatsu 431-3192, Japan. Tel.: +81 (53) 435-2295Fax: +81 (53) 435-2295Email:
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The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • ISSN: 1461-1457
  • EISSN: 1469-5111
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