Involvement of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (SZ) is suggested by studies of peripheral tissue. Nonetheless, it is unclear how such biological changes are linked to relevant, pathological neurochemistry, and brain function. We designed a multi-faceted study by combining biochemistry, neuroimaging, and neuropsychology to test how peripheral changes in a key marker for oxidative stress, glutathione (GSH), may associate with central neurochemicals or neuropsychological performance in health and in SZ. GSH in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) was acquired as a secondary 3T 1H-MRS outcome using a MEGA-PRESS sequence. Fifty healthy controls and 46 patients with SZ were studied cross-sectionally, and analyses were adjusted for effects of confounding variables. We observed lower peripheral total GSH in SZ compared to controls in extracellular (plasma) and intracellular (lymphoblast) pools. Total GSH levels in plasma positively correlated with composite neuropsychological performance across the total population and within patients. Total plasma GSH levels were also positively correlated with the levels of Glx in the dACC across the total population, as well as within each individual group (controls, patients). Furthermore, the levels of dACC Glx and dACC GSH positively correlated with composite neuropsychological performance in the patient group. Exploring the relationship between systemic oxidative stress (in particular GSH), central glutamate, and cognition in SZ will benefit further from assessment of patients with more varied neuropsychological performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience