The inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA has a central role in control and tuning of excitatory neuronal activity. GABA can be detected non-invasively using edited 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Until now, this methodology has largely been confined to those sites that have local MRS expertise, and different implementations make comparison of results between site difficult. The overall goal of this grant is the development of a universal acquisition and processing pipeline for measuring GABA concentration in the human brain. We will develop a single sequence, implemented on all three major vendor platforms, for the macromolecule-suppressed GABA-edited MRS at 3T, the GABA Analysis Toolkit (Gannet) for quantitative data analysis, and demonstrate the cross-platform equivalence of the new measurement. The resulting data acquisition and analysis tools will be made available for dissemination to the clinical neuroscience and neuroimaging communities.

Public Health Relevance

GABA is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that is used for signaling in the brain that can be measured using MRI scanners, a technology that is of wide interest to researchers studying both healthy brain function and diseases of the brain. This project will develop new experimental and data processing tools for measuring GABA, reconcile the GABA values measured by existing techniques, and make this technology available to a large number of research sites worldwide.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Project (R01)
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Liu, Guoying
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Johns Hopkins University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Gao, Fei; Wang, Guangbin; Ma, Wen et al. (2015) Decreased auditory GABA+ concentrations in presbycusis demonstrated by edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Neuroimage 106:311-6
Edden, Richard A E; Puts, Nicolaas A J; Harris, Ashley D et al. (2014) Gannet: A batch-processing tool for the quantitative analysis of gamma-aminobutyric acid–edited MR spectroscopy spectra. J Magn Reson Imaging 40:1445-52
Allen, Christopher P G; Dunkley, Benjamin T; Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh D et al. (2014) Enhanced awareness followed reversible inhibition of human visual cortex: a combined TMS, MRS and MEG study. PLoS One 9:e100350