Advertisement

Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 577–585 | Cite as

Amino acids in schizophrenia: evidence for lower tryptophan availability during treatment with atypical antipsychotics?

  • F. M. M. A. van der Heijden
  • D. Fekkes
  • S. Tuinier
  • A. E. S. Sijben
  • R. S. Kahn
  • W. M. A. Verhoeven
Article

Summary.

Amino acids play a role in neurotransmitter availability in the central nervous system, in that e.g. the synthesis of brain serotonin depends on the concentration of its precursor tryptophan. Disturbances in amino acid metabolism have been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

In the present study the effect of a 14 week treatment with atypical antipsychotics on the plasma levels of amino acids was investigated in patients with schizophrenia and compared to normal controls.

Non-responders (≤20% decrease in BPRS at endpoint) demonstrated lower baseline values of methionine as compared to good responders (≥50% decrease in BPRS at endpoint; p<.05) and controls (p<.01). The ratio between tryptophan and the other large neutral amino acids (Trp/LNAA ratio) in poor-responders (<40%) decreased during treatment as compared to responders (≥40%; p<.05).

It is concluded that poor or non-response to atypical antipsychotics may be associated with an impaired synthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, amino acids, serotonin, atypical antipsychotics. 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. M. M. A. van der Heijden
    • 1
  • D. Fekkes
    • 2
  • S. Tuinier
    • 1
  • A. E. S. Sijben
    • 1
  • R. S. Kahn
    • 3
  • W. M. A. Verhoeven
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Vincent van Gogh Institute for PsychiatryVenrayThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryErasmus University Medical CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity Medical Center UtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations