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Are working memory and glutamate concentrations involved in early-life stress and severity of psychosis?

Corcoran, Mark, Hawkins, Emma L., O'Hora, Denis, Whalley, Heather C., Hall, Jeremy, Lawrie, Stephen M. and Dauvermann, Maria R. 2020. Are working memory and glutamate concentrations involved in early-life stress and severity of psychosis? Brain and Behavior 10 (6) , e01616. 10.1002/brb3.1616

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Objective Occurrences of early‐life stress (ELS) are associated with the severity of psychotic symptoms and working memory (WM) deficits in patients with psychosis (PSY). This study investigated potential mediation roles of WM behavioral performance and glutamate concentrations in prefrontal brain regions on the association between ELS and psychotic symptom severity in PSY. Method Forty‐seven patients with PSY (established schizophrenia, n = 30; bipolar disorder, n = 17) completed measures of psychotic symptom severity. In addition, data on ELS and WM performance were collected in both patients with PSY and healthy controls (HC; n = 41). Resting‐state glutamate concentrations in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were also assessed with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy for both PSY and HC groups. t tests, analyses of variance, and regression analyses were utilized. Results Participants with PSY reported significantly more ELS occurrences and showed poorer WM performance than HC. Furthermore, individuals with PSY displayed lower glutamate concentrations in the left DLPFC than HC. Neither ELS nor WM performance were predictive of severity of psychotic symptoms in participants with PSY. However, we found a significant negative correlation between glutamate concentrations in the left DLPFC and ELS occurrence in HC only. Conclusion In individuals with PSY, the current study found no evidence that the association between ELS and psychotic symptoms is mediated by WM performance or prefrontal glutamate concentrations. In HC, the association between ELS experience and glutamate concentrations may indicate a neurometabolite effect of ELS that is independent of an illness effect in psychosis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Wiley Open Access
ISSN: 2162-3279
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 10 March 2020
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 09:47

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