Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) peak

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the principle inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system 1 and as such, is one of the compounds examined in MR spectroscopy.  It is present in the human brain at a concentration of about 1 mM, a whole order of magnitude lower than some of the more abundantly present metabolites. GABA resonates at approximately 2.2-2.4 ppm chemical shift, overlapping the peaks of the more abundant metabolites N-acetylaspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr), and glutamate-glutamine (Glx) 1-3. Therefore, it is not routinely possible to separate it from the other peaks in this region of the spectrum.

Changes in concentration of GABA have been reported in a number of clinical scenarios, although day-to-day application is limited 2:

MR spectroscopy
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Article information

rID: 27825
Sections: Physics, Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • GABA peak
  • gamma-aminobutyric acid
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

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