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Comparison of beta-endorphin and CGRP levels before and after treatment for severe schizophrenia

Authors Urban-Kowalczyk M, Smigielski J, Strzelecki D

Received 1 December 2015

Accepted for publication 22 January 2016

Published 15 April 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 863—868


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Małgorzata Urban-Kowalczyk,1 Janusz Śmigielski,2 Dominik Strzelecki1

1Department of Affective and Psychotic Disorders, 2Department of Geriatrics, Healthy Aging Research Centre (HARC), Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Objectives: Links between endorphins and dopaminergic transmission have not been fully explored in schizophrenia. Both endorphins excess and deficiency were postulated. CGRP is probably involved in dopaminergic transmission. The aim of this study was the evaluation of beta-endorphin (BE) and CGRP blood concentrations before and after treatment of severe schizophrenia.
Methods: Seventy patients treated with various antipsychotics, with severe symptoms of schizophrenia (51 with positive symptoms, 19 with negative symptoms), 15 first-degree relatives, and 44 healthy controls were included in the study. BE and CGRP blood concentrations were measured during patients severe schizophrenia and in their stable mental state after treatment. The results were compared with relatives and controls.
Results: BE and CGRP concentrations in patients with negative symptoms were higher than in relatives and in controls. BE levels in patients with positive symptoms were lower than in patients with negative symptoms (P<0.0000) and controls (P<0.0006). No significant changes in CGRP concentration were found in patient samples. CGRP levels in these samples were independent of treatment, but they were significantly higher than in relatives and controls. After the treatment, BE level decreased in patients with negative symptoms (P<0.0001) and increased in patients with positive symptoms (P<0.0000). No differences in BE concentration between patients in stable mental state, their relatives, and controls were found.
Conclusion: Effective antipsychotic treatment results in “normalization” of BE level. Specific changes in BE concentration could be involved in dopaminergic transmission and related to some symptoms of schizophrenia.

Keywords: schizophrenia, negative symptoms, neuroleptics, β-endorphin, CGRP

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