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Status of Antioxidant Vitamins and Reduced Glutathione in schizophrenia patients with positive, negative and cognitive symptoms

Author : Yalaga Rama Rao, Uma Devi P, Murugan S and Mohammed RafiqKhan

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in schizophrenia as well as neurodegenerative disorders remains speculative and there have been no detailed studies to test this hypothesis. A disturbance in the antioxidant defense system including α-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, vitamin B12, folic acid and reduced glutathione metabolism due to free radical induced oxidative injury has been implicated in various neuro-psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. The current study was undertaken to assess the non-enzymatic antioxidants status in patients with schizophrenia. A total of 60 schizophrenic patients of age group 18- 65 years of both sexes from good socio-economic background were selected and the patients were divided into three groups: (1) schizophrenics with positive symptoms, n = 20, (2) schizophrenics with negative symptoms, n = 20, and (3) schizophrenics with cognitive symptoms, n= 20. They all met DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV) criteria for schizophrenia. Sixty age and sex-matched healthy normal control subjects with no individual and familial history of mental illness were recruited to participate in this study. Fresh blood samples were collected and plasma was separated to measure the status of non-enzymatic antioxidants. It was observed from the results that there was a significant decrease in Vitamin B12, folate, ascorbic acid, vitamin E levels and reduced glutathione activity in patients with various symptoms of schizophrenia when compared to controls. The results confirm the higher oxygen-free radical production, evidenced by decreased GSH, ascorbic acid, vitamin E and folic acid, support to the oxidative stress in schizophrenia and suggest that the supplementation of antioxidants may prevent further oxidative injury in schizophrenics.


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