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Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 May;13(4):451-60. doi: 10.1017/S1461145709990939. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled comparison study of sarcosine (N-methylglycine) and D-serine add-on treatment for schizophrenia.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, China Medical University and Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.

Abstract

Recent evidence indicates that enhancing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) neurotransmission with the treatment of NMDA/glycine site agonists, such as D-serine, or a glycine transporter-1 (GlyT-1) antagonist, N-methylglycine (sarcosine), can improve symptoms of schizophrenia. To compare these two novel approaches, 60 patients with chronic schizophrenia were enrolled into a 6-wk double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of add-on treatments at the reported effective dosages (2 g/d). Clinical assessments were conducted every other week. Treatment group x treatment duration interaction analysis by multiple linear regression showed that sarcosine was superior to placebo at all four outcome measures of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total (p=0.005), Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) (p=0.021), Quality of Life (QOL) (p=0.025), and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) (p=0.042). However, d-serine did not differ significantly from placebo in any measure. Sarcosine treatment was better than d-serine in effect sizes for all outcome measures. Sarcosine also surpassed placebo in most of the measures of five PANSS factors and five SANS subscales. All treatments were well tolerated. These findings suggest that the GlyT-1 inhibitor is more efficacious than the NMDA/glycine site agonist in treatment for schizophrenia, including life quality and global function, at the dosages tested.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00491569.

PMID:
19887019
DOI:
10.1017/S1461145709990939
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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