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Schizophrenia: Plasma kynurenic acid levels may serve as biomarker for cognitive impairment

Key clinical point: In patients with schizophrenia, elevated plasma kynurenic acid (KYNA) levels are associated with impaired attention/vigilance and social cognition.

Major finding: Plasma KYNA levels were significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia vs. control participants (F = −2.617; P = .009). Compared with control participants, patients with schizophrenia had significantly impaired cognitive performance with lower scores for the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) total and its domains (all P less than or equal to .01). Plasma KYNA levels showed negative association with attention/vigilance (r = –0.457; P = .019) and social cognition (r = –0.481; P = .013) only in patients with schizophrenia.

Study details: Study compared cognitive function between 30 patients with schizophrenia and 34 healthy control participants using the MCCB score and evaluated the correlation between plasma KYNA and MCCB performance in patients with schizophrenia.

Disclosures: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Science and Technology Department of Guangdong Province Major Science and Technology, China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Science and Technologic Program of China, Guangzhou Municipal Psychiatric Diseases Clinical Transformation Laboratory, Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou, Science and Technology Program of Guangdong, Guangzhou medical and health science and technology project, Science and Technology Plan Project of Guangdong Province. The authors declared no conflict of interest.


Huang X et al. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2020 Jan 23. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S239763.