Association between serum lipids and membrane fatty acids and clinical characteristics in patients with schizophrenia

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 16 January 2015

Earlier reports indicate that patients with schizophrenia have altered lipid levels in serum and cell membranes. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between clinical characteristics and serum and membrane lipids.
Fifty-five patients with schizophrenia and 51 healthy controls were included. The patients were characterized with Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). Serum lipids [high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, LDL) and triglyceride (TG)] and erythrocyte polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were measured.
Among the participants with schizophrenia, there was a significant correlation between serum triglyceride levels and PANSS-positive symptoms (r = 0.28, P = 0.04), GAF-S (r = −0.48, P = 0.001) and GAF-F (r = −0.32, P = 0.01), and between HDL level and GAF-S (r = 0.37, P = 0.008) and GAF-F (r = 0.28, P = 0.04). Long-chain PUFA were significantly associated with PANSS-negative symptoms (r = 0.52, P < 0.001), GAF-S (r = −0.32, P = 0.02), and GAF-F (r = −0.29, P = 0.04). The patients with schizophrenia had significantly higher TG (P < 0.001) and lower HDL (P < 0.001) levels than healthy controls. HDL was also lower in the subgroup (n = 11) not receiving antipsychotic medication (P = 0.02).
The results suggest associations between lipid profile and clinical characteristics. This may indicate a role for lipid biology in schizophrenia pathophysiology.

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