Potential New Biomarker for Psychosis Severity
Angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) levels are lower in individuals with first episode psychosis (FEP) and even lower in those with resistant disease, suggesting the enzyme may be a biomarker of disease severity. In a longitudinal cohort study, investigators found patients with FEP had significantly reduced ACE levels compared with their healthy peers. With blood concentrations of the enzyme significantly reduced in those who were treatment-resistant, "ACE alterations appear to be already present at the disease onset" and results suggest "a possible relationship with disease severity," note the researchers, led by investigator Luisa Longo, MD, a resident in psychiatry, University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy.
@riya Previous studies suggest ACE may play a role in neurologic and psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, through alterations in function or blood concentrations. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying disease onset and response to antipsychotics in patients with FEP "remain poorly understood," the researchers note. In addition, "despite adequate antipsychotic treatment, 20% of patients have persistent symptoms." To determine whether ACE levels are already altered in FEP patients, the investigators examined data on 138 patients with FEP and 115 healthy controls.