Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H MRS) of the brain is a versatile technique
for the study of brain metabolism and brain function and has found wide applications in biomedical
research and clinical diagnosis. Proton MRS is capable of measuring concentrations of brain chemicals,
probing cellular energetic mechanism, membrane metabolism, and mitochondrial function, thus
allowing us to understand the neuro-pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders including autistic spectrum
disorders. The aim of this article is to introduce the MRS techniques and review the recent advances of their applications
in autistic disorders. Emphasis is given to the practical use of these techniques and the most important and challenging
brain chemicals for autistic disorder including N-acetyleaspartate, glutamate and glutamine, gamma-Aminobutyric
acid, and lactate.
Keywords: Proton MRS, MRSI, brain, neurochemistry, neurotransmitter, autistic disorder.
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