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Parallel changes in serum proteins and diffusion tensor imaging in methamphetamine-associated psychosis

2017-03-02
Breen, Michael S.
Uhlmann, Anne
Özcan Kabasakal, Süreyya
Chan, Man
Pinto, Dalila
Bahn, Sabine
Stein, Dan J.
Methamphetamine-associated psychosis (MAP) involves widespread neurocognitive and molecular deficits, however accurate diagnosis remains challenging. Integrating relationships between biological markers, brain imaging and clinical parameters may provide an improved mechanistic understanding of MAP, that could in turn drive the development of better diagnostics and treatment approaches. We applied selected reaction monitoring (SRM)-based proteomics, profiling 43 proteins in serum previously implicated in the etiology of major psychiatric disorders, and integrated these data with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and psychometric measurements from patients diagnosed with MAP (N = 12), methamphetamine dependence without psychosis (MA; N = 14) and healthy controls (N = 16). Protein analysis identified changes in APOC2 and APOH, which differed significantly in MAP compared to MA and controls. DTI analysis indicated widespread increases in mean diffusivity and radial diffusivity delineating extensive loss of white matter integrity and axon demyelination in MAP. Upon integration, several co-linear relationships between serum proteins and DTI measures reported in healthy controls were disrupted in MA and MAP groups; these involved areas of the brain critical for memory and social emotional processing. These findings suggest that serum proteomics and DTI are sensitive measures for detecting pathophysiological changes in MAP and describe a potential diagnostic fingerprint of the disorder.