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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 650450, 13 pages
Review Article

Review: Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Studies of Pediatric Major Depressive Disorder

1The Brain Institute at the University of Utah, 383 Colorow Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84108-1201, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 N. 1900 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA
3Department of Radiology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 N. 1900 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA

Received 6 May 2010; Accepted 20 August 2010

Academic Editor: Bettina F. Piko

Copyright © 2011 Douglas G. Kondo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. This paper focuses on the application of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) to the study of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in children and adolescents. Method. A literature search using the National Institutes of Health's PubMed database was conducted to identify indexed peer-reviewed MRS studies in pediatric patients with MDD. Results. The literature search yielded 18 articles reporting original MRS data in pediatric MDD. Neurochemical alterations in Choline, Glutamate, and N-Acetyl Aspartate are associated with pediatric MDD, suggesting pathophysiologic continuity with adult MDD. Conclusions. The MRS literature in pediatric MDD is modest but growing. In studies that are methodologically comparable, the results have been consistent. Because it offers a noninvasive and repeatable measurement of relevant in vivo brain chemistry, MRS has the potential to provide insights into the pathophysiology of MDD as well as the mediators and moderators of treatment response.