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Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111707

Latent Iron Deficiency as a Marker of Negative Symptoms in Patients with First-Episode Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder

1
Department of Psychiatry, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju 61469, Korea
2
Mindlink, Gwangju Bukgu Community Mental Health Center, Gwangju 61220, Korea
3
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London SE5 8AF, UK
4
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London SE5 8AF, UK
5
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
6
Department of Psychiatry, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju 54907, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract

Iron deficiency may alter dopaminergic transmission in the brain. This study investigated whether iron metabolism is associated with negative symptoms in patients with first-episode psychosis. The study enrolled 121 patients with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorder, whose duration of treatment was 2 months or less. Negative symptoms were measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and Clinician-Rated Dimensions of Psychosis Symptom Severity (Dimensional) scale of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Prominent negative symptoms were defined as moderate or severe negative symptoms on the Dimensional scale of the DSM-5. Iron deficiency was defined as a serum ferritin ≤ 20 ng/mL. Patients with iron deficiency were significantly more likely to have prominent negative symptoms (45.2 vs. 22.2%; p = 0.014) and a higher PANSS negative symptoms score (p = 0.046) than those with normal ferritin levels. Patients with prominent negative symptoms had significantly lower ferritin levels (p = 0.025). The significance of these results remained after controlling for the duration of illness and other confounding variables. Our finding of an independent association between iron deficiency and negative symptoms in patients at the very early stage of illness implies that iron dysregulation has an effect on negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. The possibility of therapeutic intervention with iron should be further investigated. View Full-Text
Keywords: schizophrenia; psychosis; iron; ferritin; negative symptom; first-episode schizophrenia; psychosis; iron; ferritin; negative symptom; first-episode
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Kim, S.-W.; Stewart, R.; Park, W.-Y.; Jhon, M.; Lee, J.-Y.; Kim, S.-Y.; Kim, J.-M.; Amminger, P.; Chung, Y.-C.; Yoon, J.-S. Latent Iron Deficiency as a Marker of Negative Symptoms in Patients with First-Episode Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1707.

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