Ketamine induced changes in regional cerebral blood flow, interregional connectivity patterns, and glutamate metabolism

Academic Article


  • Several imaging studies have attempted to characterize the contribution of glutamatergic dysfunction to functional dysconnectivity of large-scale brain networks using ketamine models. However, findings from BOLD imaging studies are conflicting, in part because the signal stems from a complex interaction between blood flow, blood volume, and oxygen consumption. We used arterial spin labelling imaging to measure regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in a group of healthy volunteers during a saline and during a ketamine infusion. We examined changes in rCBF and interregional connectivity patterns, as well as their associations with clinical symptom severity and Glx (glutamate + glutamine) assessed with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We report a regionally selective pattern of rCBF changes following ketamine administration and complex changes in interregional connectivity patterns. We also found that the increase in rCBF in the bilateral putamen and left hippocampus was positively correlated with ketamine induced clinical symptom severity while anterior cingulate rCBF during the ketamine challenge was negatively correlated with change in hippocampal Glx. Our study adds to the efforts to empirically confirm putative links between an NMDA receptor blockage and dysconnectivity of large-scale brain networks, specifically the salience, executive control and default mode networks, suggesting that a glutamatergic imbalance may contribute to dysconnectivity. Development of glutamatergic compounds that alleviate disease burden, possibly through normalizing glutamate excess related increased rCBF, is direly needed.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bryant JE; Frölich M; Tran S; Reid MA; Lahti AC; Kraguljac NV
  • Start Page

  • 108
  • End Page

  • 115
  • Volume

  • 117