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  • The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 13, Issue 4
  • May 2010, pp. 529-534

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

Abstract
Abstract

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.

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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: k-suzuki@hama-med.ac.jp
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The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • ISSN: 1461-1457
  • EISSN: 1469-5111
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