Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2013 Apr;11(1):24-27.

A Longitudinal Study of Relation between Side-effects and Clinical Improvement in Schizophrenia: Is There a Neuro-metabolic Threshold for Second Generation Antipsychotics?

  • 1The Metabolic Clinic in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Cognitive Neurobiology Division, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences [NIMHANS], Bangalore, India. venkat.nimhan


OBJECTIVE: Classical studies demonstrated Neuroleptic Induced Extrapyramidal Side-effects (NIES; Neuroleptic threshold) to correlate with the efficacy of first generation antipsychotics. Second generation antipsychotics (SGAs), in addition to the extrapyramidal side effects, are also associated with metabolic side effects. This prospective study on antipsychotic-naive schizophrenia patients, for the first-time, examined concurrently the relationship between clinical improvement and these side-effects NIES and Neuroleptic Induced Metabolic Side-effects.
Thirty six-antipsychotic-naive schizophrenia (DSM-IV) patients were examined at baseline and after 5 weeks of treatment with antipsychotics. At baseline and follow-up, we recorded the body mass index (BMI) and assessed psychopathology using Scale for Assessment of Positive-symptoms (SAPS) and Scale for Assessment of Negative-symptoms (SANS), extrapyramidal symptoms using Simpson-Angus Extra Pyramidal Scale (SAEPS) and improvement using Clinical Global Impression Improvement (CGI).
After treatment, patients showed significant reduction in SAPS (baseline, 27.97+/-14.47; follow-up, 14.63+/-13.25; p<0.001) and SANS total scores (baseline, 63.77+/-28.96; follow-up, 49.30+/-28.77; p=0.001) and a significant increase in BMI (baseline, 18.5+/-3.37; follow-up, 19.13+/-3.17; p<0.001). At follow-up CGI-Improvement score was (2.55+/-0.65) and SAEPS score was (0.8+/-1.32). CGI-Improvement score had a significant negative correlation with magnitude of increase in BMI (rs=-0.39; p=0.01) and SAEPS symptom score at follow-up (rs=-0.58; p<0.001). In addition, magnitude of increase in BMI showed positive correlation with the magnitude of reduction in SAPS total score (rs=0.33; p=0.04).
The study findings suggest a possible relation between clinical improvement and antipsychotic-induced neuroleptic as well as metabolic side-effects in schizophrenia. Though the mechanism of this relation is yet to be elucidated, insulin signaling pathways and lipid homeostasis are potential mechanisms in addition to the established neurotransmitter hypothesis. Theoretically findings support the novel hypothetical construct of 'Neuro-Metabolic threshold' in the treatment of schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic; Metabolic; Extrapyramidal; Insulin
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