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Plasma amino acids altered in first-episode psychosis

16 Dec 2020

Patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) exhibit a low gamma amino-n-butyric (GABA) plasma profile, a recent study suggests.

The study included 166 FEP patients (mean age, 30.3±12.2 years; 64.0 percent male) and 76 unaffected siblings (mean age, 31.5±11.0 years; 30.3 percent male). The following plasma amino acids were measured through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry: glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, tryptophan, tyrosine, serine, and GABA. A parallel group of 166 community controls (mean age, 31.4±12.0 years; 63.9 percent male) was also included.

GABA plasma levels were significantly reduced among FEP patients as compared to both sibling (p=0.006) and community (p=0.048) controls.

On the other hand, sibling controls had lower plasma concentrations of glutamic acid, glutamic acid and glutamine, and proline as compared to both patients and controls. Levels of tryptophan, in contrast, was significantly elevated among siblings.

Glycine, glycine-to-glutamic acid ratio, glutamine, serine, and tyrosine levels did not differ among the participant groups.

In terms of clinical characteristics of FEP, the plasma amino acid profile did not vary in accordance to sex, age, smoking, and the use of psychoactive substances. Treatment also affected plasma amino acids, particularly glutamic acid. For instance, its levels were significantly lower among those with only 11 weeks of pharmacological treatment, as opposed to patients who had been treated for ≥12 weeks (p=0.009).

“Altogether, the peripheral blood alterations seen herein might reflect an imbalance of amino acids in psychosis. Further studies, especially metabolomics, are needed to confirm our findings and improve the understanding of psychosis pathogenesis,” the researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
01 Dec 2020
Tetanus toxoid 5 Lf, diphtheria toxoid 2 Lf, pertussis toxoid 2.5 mcg, filamentous haemagglutinin 5 mcg, fimbriae types 2 and 3 5 mcg, pertactin 3 mcg
Dr. Hsu Li Yang, Dr. Tan Thuan Tong, Dr. Andrea Kwa, 08 Jan 2021
Antimicrobial resistance has become increasingly dire as the rapid emergence of drug resistance, especially gram-negative pathogens, has outpaced the development of new antibiotics. At a recent virtual symposium, Dr Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean (Global Health) and Programme Leader (Infectious Diseases), NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, presented epidemiological data on multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacteria (GNB) in Asia, while Dr Tan Thuan Tong, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), focused on the role of ceftazidime-avibactam in MDR GNB infections. Dr Andrea Kwa, Assistant Director of Research, Department of Pharmacy, SGH, joined the panel in an interactive fireside chat, to discuss challenges, practical considerations, and solutions in MDR gram-negative infections. This Pfizer-sponsored symposium was chaired by Dr Ng Shin Yi, Head and Senior Consultant of Surgical Intensive Care, SGH.
Tristan Manalac, Yesterday
While antibody titres against SARS-CoV-2 wane with time, the immune system is capable of producing memory B-cells that can last for at least 6 months after infection, suggesting that the body will be able to protect itself in the case of re-exposure, according to a new study.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 5 days ago
Spending too much time sitting cannot be good for the body, and rising to one's feet breaks up such a behaviour and yields small, but meaningful, reductions in certain cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, according to the results of a meta-analysis.