Klinisk institutt 2

Midtveisevaluering - Priyanthi B. Gjerde



Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder with a lifetime prevalence of approximately 1 %. It is a devastating disease for the patient diagnosed, with high financial costs for society. The core symptoms are classified as negative (e.g. affect flattening and social withdrawal), positive (e.g hallucinations and/or delusions) and cognitive (e.g. poor attention and memory). In recent years, evidence has emerged that lipid dysregulations and myelination abnormalities in the brain might contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

Antipsychotic drugs — though essential in many ways — often induce metabolic adverse effects, such as weight gain and dyslipidaemias. As recent studies suggest that antipsychotics with the best therapeutic effect in terms of therapeutic efficiency and compliance are also the ones that produce the most adverse metabolic side effects, an intriguing notion has appeared: that the metabolic effects of antipsychotic agents could, in fact, be a double-edged sword where lipid biosynthesis and regulation are involved in both therapeutic efficacy and metabolic side-effects.

The main aim of my PhD is to combine clinical, imaging, biological and gene data to explore the relationship between metabolic adverse effects (i.e., weight gain and dyslipidemia) and specific outcome measures (i.e., severity of psychosis, cognition and structural changes as observed by MRI) in antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia.

I will present a summery of the results during my midterm evaluation.