Increased Glutamate in Somatosensory Cortex in Functional Dyspepsia

Arthur D.P. Mak, Georg Northoff, David K.W. Yeung, Winnie C.W. Chu, Steve C.N. Hui, Cynthia Cheung, Jessica Ching, Linda Lam, Sing Lee, Justin Wu

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Functional Dyspepsia-Post-prandial Distress Syndrome (FD-PDS) was associated with mood-related increases in resting activity and lowered activation threshold in the somatosensory cortex (SSC), insula and perigenual anterior cingulate cortex(pgACC) in functional imaging studies. The underlying cortical neurochemical changes are unknown. We performed proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) on 17 consecutive tertiary clinic-recruited psychotropic-naïve Rome III FD-PDS female and 17 age-sex matched healthy controls. Voxels were placed on bilateral pgACC, left insula and SSC. Water-suppressed spectra were acquired using PRESS with short echo time (TE) (T = 24 ms) to separately quantify glutamate (Glu) and glutamine (Gln). Main outcome measure was regional Glu/Cr + PCr. Severity of depression, anxiety, somatization, and dyspepsia were also assessed. We found significantly increased SSC Glu/Cr + PCr in FD-PDS subjects compared to controls. SSC Glu/Cr + PCr correlated significantly with postprandial distress chronicity, dyspeptic symptoms severity and anxiety. The SSC Glu/Cr + PCr - dyspepsia correlations became insignificant after controlling for anxiety but were independent of depression. Gln/Glu ratio, which indicates glial Glu cycling failure, was unchanged. No between-group differences were noted in other regional metabolite concentrations. Our findings suggested enhanced SSC glutamate transmission in FD-PDS that was linked to post-prandial distress chronicity and severity and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3926
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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