Positron emission tomography assessment of cerebral glucose metabolic rates in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia
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Several models have been proposed to account for observed overlaps in clinical features and genetic predisposition between schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder. This study assessed similarities and differences in topological patterns and vectors of glucose metabolism in both disorders in reference to these models. Co-registered 18fluorodeoxyglucose PET and MRI scans were obtained in 41 schizophrenia, 25 ASD, and 55 healthy control subjects. AFNI was used to map cortical and subcortical regions of interest. Metabolic rates were compared between three diagnostic groups using univariate and multivariate repeated-measures ANOVA. Compared to controls, metabolic rates in schizophrenia subjects were decreased in the frontal lobe, anterior cingulate, superior temporal gyrus, amygdala and medial thalamic nuclei; rates were increased in the occipital cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia and lateral thalamic nuclei. In ASD subjects metabolic rates were decreased in the parietal lobe, frontal premotor and eye-fields areas, and amygdala; rates were increased in the posterior cingulate, occipital cortex, hippocampus and basal ganglia. In relation to controls, subjects with ASD and schizophrenia showed opposite changes in metabolic rates in the primary motor and somatosensory cortex, anterior cingulate and hypothalamus; similar changes were found in prefrontal and occipital cortices, inferior parietal lobule, amygdala, hippocampus, and basal ganglia. Schizophrenia and ASD appear to be associated with a similar pattern of metabolic abnormalities in the social brain. Divergent maladaptive trade-offs, as postulated by the diametrical hypothesis of their evolutionary relationship, may involve a more circumscribed set of anterior cingulate, motor and somatosensory regions and the specific cognitive functions they subserve.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Schizophrenia Positron emission tomography Fluorodeoxyglucose Social brain Diametrical diseases
This work was partly supported by NARSAD Young Investigator Award and NIMH MH 077146 grant to Serge A. Mitelman and by NIMH grants P50 MH 66392–01, MH 60023, and MH 56489 to Monte S. Buchsbaum.
Compliance and ethical standards
All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Mount Sinai institutional research committee, as well as with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments. The project was approved by the institutional review board of The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Conflict of interest
Serge A. Mitelman declares that he has no conflict of interest to report.
Marie-Cecile Bralet declares that she has no conflict of interest to report.
M. Mehmet Haznedar declares that he has no conflict of interest to report.
Eric Hollander has received consultation fees from Transceit, Neuropharm, and Nastech.
Lina Shihabuddin declares that she has no conflict of interest to report.
Erin A. Hazlett declares that she has no conflict of interest to report.
Monte S. Buchsbaum declares that he has no conflict of interest to report.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.
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