Explorations into the membrane hypothesis of schizophrenia
Kemp, W.J.M. van der
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Literature on the membrane hypothesis of schizophrenia is reviewed. A meta-analysis of fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membranes of schizophrenia patients and normal controls was made. It was found that patients had to be devided in three distinct groups: first episode neuroleptive naive patients, chronic patients on typical, and chronic patients on atypical antipsychotic medication. Atypical medication was found to normalise depleted essential fatty acids. A link between gray matter loss seen in MRI studies and the membrane hypothesis was hypothesised. Gray matter volume loss observed in schizophrenic patients is possibly caused by the influence of the altered membrane fatty acid composition on cell volume regulation which leads to sub-lethal apoptotic activity.