Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 641–655 | Cite as

In Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, and Physiosomatic Symptoms Are Strongly Related to Psychotic Symptoms and Excitation, Impairments in Episodic Memory, and Increased Production of Neurotoxic Tryptophan Catabolites: a Multivariate and Machine Learning Study

  • Buranee Kanchanatawan
  • Supaksorn Thika
  • Sunee Sirivichayakul
  • André F. Carvalho
  • Michel Geffard
  • Michael Maes


The depression, anxiety and physiosomatic symptoms (DAPS) of schizophrenia are associated with negative symptoms and changes in tryptophan catabolite (TRYCAT) patterning. The aim of this study is to delineate the associations between DAPS and psychosis, hostility, excitation, and mannerism (PHEM) symptoms, cognitive tests as measured using the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) and IgA/IgM responses to TRYCATs. We included 40 healthy controls and 80 participants with schizophrenia. Depression and anxiety symptoms were measured with The Hamilton Depression (HAM-D) and Anxiety (HAM-A) Rating Scales, respectively. Physiosomatic symptoms were assessed with the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Rating Scale (FF). Negative symptoms as well as CERAD tests, including Verbal Fluency Test (VFT), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Word List Memory (WLM), and WL Delayed Recall were measured, while ratios of IgA responses to noxious/protective TRYCATs (IgA NOX_PRO) were computed. Schizophrenia symptoms consisted of two dimensions, a first comprising PHEM and negative symptoms, and a second DAPS symptoms. A large part of the variance in DAPS was explained by psychotic symptoms and WLM. Of the variance in HAM-D, 58.9% was explained by the regression on excitement, IgA NOX_PRO ratio, WLM, and VFT; 29.9% of the variance in HAM-A by psychotic symptoms and IgA NOX/PRO; and 45.5% of the variance in FF score by psychotic symptoms, IgA NOX/PRO, and WLM. Neural network modeling shows that PHEM, IgA NOX_PRO, WLM, and MMSE are the dominant variables predicting DAPS. DAPS appear to be driven by PHEM and negative symptoms coupled with impairments in episodic memory, especially false memory creation, while all symptom dimension and cognitive impairments may be driven by an increased production of noxious TRYCATs, including picolinic, quinolinic, and xanthurenic acid.


Schizophrenia Immune Inflammation Tryptophan catabolites Depression Anxiety 


Author’s Contributions

All the contributing authors have participated in the manuscript. MM and BK designed the study. BK recruited patients and completed diagnostic interviews and rating scale measurements. MM carried out the statistical analyses. ST carried out the cognitive tests. SS and MG performed the TRYCAT assays. All authors (BK, ST, SS, AC, MG, AC, and MM) contributed to the interpretation of the data and writing of the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Funding Information

The study was supported by the Asahi Glass Foundation, Chulalongkorn University Centenary Academic Development Project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All participants as well as the guardians of patients (parents or other close family members) provided written informed consent prior to participation in this study. The study was conducted according to Thai and International ethics and privacy laws. Approval for the study was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, which is in compliance with the International Guideline for Human Research protection as required by the Declaration of Helsinki, The Belmont Report, CIOMS Guideline, and International Conference on Harmonization in Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12640_2018_9868_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 13 kb)
12640_2018_9868_MOESM2_ESM.docx (58 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 57 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)TorontoCanada
  5. 5.IDRPHT, Research DepartmentTalenceFrance
  6. 6.GEMACSaint Jean d’IllacFrance
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryMedical University of PlovdivPlovdivBulgaria
  8. 8.IMPACT Strategic Research Center, Barwon HealthDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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