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Neuropsychobiology. 2001;44(4):167-71.

Plasma concentrations of amino acids in chronic schizophrenics treated with clozapine.

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Institute of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Naples, Italy.


Peripheral amino acid changes have been reported in schizophrenia, but results are not consistent. We measured serum levels of different amino acids in 11 neuroleptic-resistant schizophrenic patients before and after clozapine treatment and in 11 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. The schizophrenic patients exhibited significantly higher levels of serum aspartate, glutamate, isoleucine, histidine and tyrosine and significantly lower concentrations of serum asparagine, tryptophan and serine. In patients, the ratio between tryptophan and large neutral amino acids (LNAA) was significantly lower than in matched controls, whereas the tyrosine/LNAA ratio did not differ significantly. Moreover, 12 weeks of clozapine administration significantly reduced serum levels of glutamate but did not restore the values observed in normal controls, nor did it affect other amino acid concentrations. These data show changes in serum amino acids that may influence central serotonergic, dopaminergic and glutamatergic transmission in neuroleptic-resistant schizophrenics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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