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Schizophr Res. 2010 Jun;119(1-3):131-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.01.033. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Effect of antipsychotic treatment on Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 and cortisol in schizophrenia: a longitudinal study.

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Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore 560029, India.


Neurodevelopmental pathogenesis of schizophrenia might be mediated by abnormalities in Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). Developmental disturbances like obstetric complications, by themselves, as well as through the resultant hypercortisolemia due to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, can lead to deficient IGF-1 level. The relevance of IGF-1-Cortisol interactions in schizophrenia, especially in the context of antipsychotic treatment, is yet to be explored. In this study, thirty-three antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients (13-men) were examined for serum IGF-1 and cortisol levels at baseline and after 3months of antipsychotic treatment. For baseline analyses, the patients were compared with 33 healthy controls matched for age, sex, socio-economic status, and physical activity. Symptoms were assessed using Scale for Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) and Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS). At baseline, schizophrenia patients had significantly lower levels of IGF-1 [t=4.6; p<0.0001] and higher levels of cortisol [t=3.9; p=0.0002] in comparison with healthy controls. Following treatment, IGF-1 level increased significantly [t=4.5; p<0.0001] whereas cortisol decreased significantly [t=2.5; p=0.02] in patients. There was a significant positive correlation between magnitude of increase in IGF-1 level and the magnitude of reduction in cortisol level [r=0.52; p=0.002]. Also, the greater the increase in IGF-1 the greater was the reduction in SAPS score [r=0.39; p=0.02]. Our study findings demonstrate that antipsychotic treatment can result in significant elevation of serum IGF-1 possibly mediated by reduction in cortisol levels. These observations suggest a possible link between HPA axis abnormalities and IGF-1 deficits in the neurodevelopmental pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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