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Red blood cell membrane essential fatty acid metabolism in early psychotic patients following antipsychotic drug treatment.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, GA, USA.


A role of indices of oxidative stress, oxidative injury, and abnormal membrane phospholipid, specifically the phospholipid essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPUFAs) metabolism has been suggested based on studies in separate groups of patients with or without medication. The current study investigated the relationship between these biochemical measures in first-episode psychotic patients (N=16) at baseline and after 6 months of antipsychotic treatment (N=5 each with risperidone and olanzapine) and compared them to matched normal subjects. The indices of oxidative stress included: antioxidant enzymes; superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase; and the oxidative injury as the levels of plasma lipid peroxides. The key membrane EPUFA's been; linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, nervonic acid, docosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Furthermore, the changes in these biochemical measures were correlated with clinical symptomatology. Data indicated that, at baseline, reduced levels of antioxidant enzymes were associated with increased plasma lipid peroxides and reduced membrane EPUFAs, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, these biochemical measures normalized after 6 months of antipsychotic treatment. Parallel-improved psychopathology indicated that membrane EPUFA status might be partly affected by oxidative damage, which together may contribute to the pathophysiology and thereby, psychopathology of schizophrenia. These data also support the augmentation of antipsychotic treatment by supplementation with a combination of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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