Author(s): Wood PL
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Abstract Metabolomics research has the potential to provide biomarkers for the detection of disease, for subtyping complex disease populations, for monitoring disease progression and therapy, and for defining new molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. These potentials are far from being realized because of a number of technical, conceptual, financial, and bioinformatics issues. Mass spectrometry provides analytical platforms that address the technical barriers to success in metabolomics research; however, the limited commercial availability of analytical and stable isotope standards has created a bottleneck for the absolute quantitation of a number of metabolites. Conceptual and financial factors contribute to the generation of statistically under-powered clinical studies, whereas bioinformatics issues result in the publication of a large number of unidentified metabolites. The path forward in this field involves targeted metabolomics analyses of large control and patient populations to define both the normal range of a defined metabolite and the potential heterogeneity (eg, bimodal) in complex patient populations. This approach requires that metabolomics research groups, in addition to developing a number of analytical platforms, build sufficient chemistry resources to supply the analytical standards required for absolute metabolite quantitation. Examples of metabolomics evaluations of sulfur amino-acid metabolism in psychiatry, neurology, and neuro-oncology and of lipidomics in neurology will be reviewed.
This article was published in Neuropsychopharmacology
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques