OBJECTIVE: The authors examined phospholipids and high-energy phosphorus metabolism in the temporal lobes of drug-naive schizophrenic patients. METHOD: In vivo 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy was performed on 17 first-episode, drug-naive schizophrenic patients and 17 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects. RESULTS: Patients showed higher levels of phosphodiesters and lower levels of phosphomonoesters than the comparison group. Phosphocreatine levels were increased in the left temporal lobes of patients. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest disturbed membrane phospholipid metabolism in both temporal lobes and decreased energy demands in the left temporal lobes of drug-naive schizophrenic patients.