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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.


  • Int J Neuropsychopharmacol

    Int J Neuropsychopharmacol (13), 529-534, 2009-11-09



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