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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00763

THE ASSERTIVE BRAIN: anterior cingulate creatine levels correlate with self-directedness in healthy adolescents

 Letizia Squarcina1,  Giuseppe Delvecchio2, Maria Nobile3,  Maddalena Mauri3, 4, Domenico Madonna1, 5, Carolina Bonivento3,  Marco Garzitto3, Sara Piccin3,  Massimo Molteni3, Barbara Tomasino3, Cinzia Bressi1,  Franco Fabbro3,  Jeffrey A. Stanley6 and  Paolo Brambilla1, 5*
  • 1IRCCS Ca 'Granda Foundation Maggiore Policlinico Hospital, Italy
  • 2University of Milan, Italy
  • 3Eugenio Medea (IRCCS), Italy
  • 4School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Italy
  • 5Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milan, Italy
  • 6Wayne State University, United States

Despite various advances in the study of the neurobiological underpinnings of personality traits, the specific neural correlates associated with character and temperament traits are not yet fully understood. Therefore, this study aims to fill this gap by exploring the biochemical basis of personality, explored with the temperament and character inventory (TCI), during brain development in a sample of adolescents. Twenty-six healthy adolescents (aged between 13 and 21 years; 9 males and 18 females) with behavioral and emotional problems underwent a TCI evaluation and a 3T single-voxel proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (¹H MRS) acquisition of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Absolute metabolite levels were estimated using LCModel: Significant correlations between metabolite levels and selective TCI scales were identified. Specifically, phosphocreatine plus creatine (PCr+Cre) significantly correlated with Self-Directedness, positively, and with a self-transcendence (ST), negatively, while glycerophosphocholine plus phosphocholine (GPC+PC) and myo-inositol negatively correlated with ST. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting associations of brain metabolites with personality traits in adolescents. Therefore, our results represent a step forward for personality neuroscience within the study of biochemical systems and brain structures.

Keywords: Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Temperament Character Inventory, adolescence, Brain biochemistry, brain metabolism

Received: 01 Aug 2019; Accepted: 23 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Squarcina, Delvecchio, Nobile, Mauri, Madonna, Bonivento, Garzitto, Piccin, Molteni, Tomasino, Bressi, Fabbro, Stanley and Brambilla. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Paolo Brambilla, IRCCS Ca 'Granda Foundation Maggiore Policlinico Hospital, Milan, Italy,