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Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are thought to arise in part from the disruption in the excitatory/inhibitory balance of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate in the brain. Recent evidence has shown the involvement of the cerebellum in cognition and affect regulation, and cerebellar atypical function or damage is reported frequently in NDDs. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies have reported decreases in GABA in cortical brain areas in the NDDs, however, GABA levels in the cerebellum have not been examined. To determine possible group effects, we used a MEGA-PRESS acquisition to investigate GABA+ levels in a cerebellar voxel in 343 individuals (aged 2.5-22 years) with ASD, ADHD, OCD and controls. Using a mixed effects model, we found no significant differences between groups in GABA+ concentration. Our findings suggest that cerebellar GABA+ levels do not differentiate NDD groups.

Original publication




Journal article


Autism Res

Publication Date



attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, cerebellum, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, neurodevelopmental disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, γ-aminobutyric acid