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Neuroimaging glutamatergic mechanisms differentiating antipsychotic treatment-response

Mouchlianitis, E., Vanes, L., Tracy, D. K. , Fett, A-K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0282-273X, Joyce, D. & Shergill, S. (2023). Neuroimaging glutamatergic mechanisms differentiating antipsychotic treatment-response. Scientific Reports, 13(1), article number 8938. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-26702-0


Glutamatergic dysfunction is associated with failure to respond to antipsychotic medication in individuals with schizophrenia. Our objective was to combine neurochemical and functional brain imaging methods to investigate glutamatergic dysfunction and reward processing in such individuals compared with those with treatment responsive schizophrenia, and healthy controls. 60 participants played a trust task, while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging: 21 classified as having treatment-resistant schizophrenia, 21 patients with treatment-responsive schizophrenia, and 18 healthy controls. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was also acquired to measure glutamate in the anterior cingulate cortex. Compared to controls, treatment responsive and treatment-resistant participants showed reduced investments during the trust task. For treatment-resistant individuals, glutamate levels in the anterior cingulate cortex were associated with signal decreases in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when compared to those treatment-responsive, and with bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left parietal association cortex when compared to controls. Treatment-responsive participants showed significant signal decreases in the anterior caudate compared to the other two groups. Our results provide evidence that glutamatergic differences differentiate treatment resistant and responsive schizophrenia. The differentiation of cortical and sub-cortical reward learning substrates has potential diagnostic value. Future novel interventions might therapeutically target neurotransmitters affecting the cortical substrates of the reward network.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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