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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Oct 1;39(1):52-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 May 31.

The reduction of superoxide dismutase activity is associated with the severity of neurological soft signs in patients with schizophrenia.

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Research Laboratory "Trace Elements, Free Radicals and Antioxidants", Biophysics Department, Faculty of Medicine, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia.


This study aimed to explore the relationship between antioxidant enzyme activities and neurological soft signs (NSS) in a sample of patients with schizophrenia. Sixty clinically stable patients with schizophrenia treated mostly by first-generation antipsychotics and 30 matched healthy controls were recruited. NSS were assessed in two groups by a standardized neurological examination (Krebs et al., 2000). The red blood cell (RBC) antioxidant activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and catalase (CAT) were measured by spectrophotometry. RBC activities of all enzymes studied: SOD, GSH-Px and CAT, were significantly lower in the patients compared to control group. All NSS scores were significantly higher in the patients compared to healthy controls' scores. In the patients, a negative correlation was found between RBC SOD activity and NSS total score and motor coordination and motor integration sub-scores. The association between low SOD activity as a marker of oxidative stress and NSS in schizophrenic patients suggests a common pathological process of these abnormalities.

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