Serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and cortisol to sulfate of dehydroepiandrosterone molar ratio associated with clinical response to L-theanine as augmentation of antipsychotic therapy in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder patients.

Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Ministry of Health Be'er-Sheva Mental Health Center, Be'er-Sheva, Israel.
Clinical neuropharmacology (Impact Factor: 1.84). 05/2011; 34(4):155-60. DOI: 10.1097/WNF.0b013e318220d8c6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT L-Theanine (γ-glutamylethylamide) augmentation to antipsychotic therapy ameliorates positive, activation, and anxiety symptoms in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder patients. This study examines the association between circulating levels of neurochemical indicators and the beneficial clinical effects of L-theanine augmentation.
Serum levels of neurochemical indicators such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), its sulfate (DHEAS), cortisol, cholesterol, and insulin were monitored in 40 schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder patients during an 8-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with L-theanine (400 mg/d). Multiple regression analysis was applied for searching association between improvement in symptom scores and changes in circulating levels of neurochemical indicators for an 8-week trial.
Regression models among L-theanine-treated patients indicate that circulating levels of BDNF and cortisol-to-DHEAS*100 molar ratio were significantly associated with the beneficial clinical effects of L-theanine augmentation. Variability of serum BDNF levels accounted for 26.2% of the total variance in reduction of dysphoric mood and 38.2% in anxiety scores. In addition, the changes in cortisol-to-DHEAS*100 molar ratio accounted for 30% to 34% of the variance in activation factor and dysphoric mood scores and for 15.9% in anxiety scores. Regression models among placebo-treated patients did not reach significant level.
These preliminary results indicate that circulating BDNF and cortisol-to-DHEAS*100 molar ratio may be involved in the beneficial clinical effects of L-theanine as augmentation of antipsychotic therapy in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder patients.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a chronic condition that impacts significantly not only on the individual and family, but the disorder also has wider consequences for society in terms of significant costs to the economy. This highly prevalent condition affects approximately 1% of the worldwide population, yet there are few therapeutic options. The predominant treatment strategy for schizophrenia is anti-psychotic medication (with or without additional talking therapy) even though this approach lacks efficacy in managing the negative symptoms of the condition, is not effective in one-third of the patient group and the side effects of the medication can be severe and debilitating. In recent years, a number of pathophysiological processes have been identified in groups of people with schizophrenia including oxidative stress, one-carbon metabolism and immune-mediated responses. A number of studies have shown that these altered physiological mechanisms can be ameliorated by nutritional interventions in some individuals with schizophrenia. This review briefly describes the aforementioned processes and outlines research that has investigated the utility of nutritional approaches as an adjunct to anti-psychotic medication including antioxidant and vitamin B supplementation, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory nutrients and exclusion diets. Whilst none of these interventions provides a 'one-size-fits-all' therapeutic solution, we suggest that a personalised approach warrants research attention as there is growing agreement that schizophrenia is a spectrum disorder that develops from the interplay between environmental and genetic factors.
    Nutrition Journal 09/2014; 13(1):91. · 2.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Studies of biomarkers of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity indicate that psychotic disorders are associated with elevated cortisol. This study examined cortisol levels in healthy control subjects and individuals who met clinical high-risk (CHR) criteria for psychosis. It was hypothesized that cortisol levels would be 1) elevated in the CHR group relative to control subjects, 2) positively correlated with symptom severity, and 3) most elevated in CHR patients who transition to psychotic level severity. METHODS: Baseline assessments were conducted at eight centers in the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study. The present CHR sample included 256 individuals meeting the Scale for Prodromal Symptoms criteria and 141 control subjects, all of whom underwent baseline assessment and measurement of salivary cortisol. RESULTS: Consistent with previous reports, there was an effect of age on cortisol, with increases through the adolescent/early adult years. Analysis of covariance showed a main effect of diagnostic group, with the CHR group showing higher cortisol. There were modest, positive correlations of cortisol with baseline symptom severity, and analysis of covariance revealed higher baseline cortisol in those who transitioned to psychotic level symptoms when compared with healthy control subjects and CHR subjects who remitted. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings add to accumulating evidence of heightened cortisol secretion in CHR individuals. The findings also indicate nonspecific associations between cortisol levels and symptom severity, as well as symptom progression. The role of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity in prediction of conversion to psychosis and its relation with other biomarkers of risk should receive attention in future research.
    Biological psychiatry 04/2013; · 8.93 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Theanine (n-ethylglutamic acid), a non-proteinaceous amino acid component of green and black teas, has received growing attention in recent years due to its reported effects on the central nervous system. It readily crosses the blood-brain barrier where it exerts a variety of neurophysiological and pharmacological effects. Its most well-documented effect has been its apparent anxiolytic and calming effect due to its up-regulation of inhibitory neurotransmitters and possible modulation of serotonin and dopamine in selected areas. It has also recently been shown to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. An increasing number of studies demonstrate a neuroprotective effects following cerebral infarct and injury, although the exact molecular mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. Theanine also elicits improvements in cognitive function including learning and memory, in human and animal studies, possibly via a decrease in NMDA-dependent CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) and increase in NMDA-independent CA1-LTP. Furthermore, theanine administration elicits selective changes in alpha brain wave activity with concomitant increases in selective attention during the execution of mental tasks. Emerging studies also demonstrate a promising role for theanine in augmentation therapy for schizophrenia, while animal models of depression report positive improvements following theanine administration. A handful of studies are beginning to examine a putative role in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and theoretical extrapolations to a therapeutic role for theanine in other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and bipolar disorder are discussed.
    Nutritional Neuroscience 07/2013; · 2.11 Impact Factor


Available from
May 27, 2014