AbstractSeveral groups, including our own, have reported reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes from schizophrenic patients. We have investigated a large series of drug free and never medicated patients and healthy control subjects. These patients show a significant increase in plasma levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances which is an index of lipid peroxidation. Erythrocyte membrane fatty acid levels show specific abnormalities in these patients. An initial open study of supplementing drug treated schizophrenic patients with concentrated fish oil led to significant improvement in both schizophrenic symptoms and tardive dyskinesia. A double blind placebo controlled trial of fatty acid supplementation is in progress and the results will be reported.
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