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Chemical Mapping of Anxiety in the Brain of Healthy Humans: An in vivo 1

Summary: Chemical Mapping of Anxiety in the Brain of
Healthy Humans: An in vivo 1
H-MRS Study on
the Effects of Sex, Age, and Brain Region
Igor D. Grachev* and A. Vania Apkarian
Department of Neurosurgery and Department of Neuroscience and Physiology,
SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York
Abstract: We recently presented results in an in vivo study of human brain chemistry in `physiologic'
anxiety, i.e., the anxiety of normal everyday life. Normal subjects with high anxiety demonstrated
increased concentration of chemicals in orbital frontal cortex (OFC) as compared to lower anxiety. In a
separate study of aging we demonstrated a decrease of total chemical concentration in OFC of middle-
aged subjects, as compared with younger age. This brain region also showed gender dependence; men
demonstrating decreased chemical concentration compared to women. We hypothesized that these sex-
and age-dependent differences in OFC chemistry changes are a result of anxiety effects on this brain
region. In the present study we examined these sex- and age-differential regional brain chemistry changes
(as identified by localized in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy [1
H-MRS]) in relation to the
state-trait-anxiety (as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) in 35 healthy subjects. The concen-
trations for all nine chemicals of 1
H-MRS spectra were measured relative to creatine across multiple brain


Source: Apkarian, A. Vania - Department of Physiology, Northwestern University


Collections: Biology and Medicine