OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the
concentration of beta-nucleoside triphosphate is lower in the basal ganglia
of depressed subjects. METHOD: In vivo 31P magnetic resonance spectra were
acquired from a 45-cm3 region surrounding the basal ganglia of 35
unmedicated depressed subjects and 18 comparison subjects. RESULTS:
beta-Nucleoside triphosphate, which arises primarily from beta-ATP, was 16%
lower in the depressed subjects than in the comparison subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: The low level of beta-nucleoside triphosphate is consistent
with an abnormality of high-energy phosphate metabolism in the basal
ganglia of subjects with major depression.