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Association of telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number with risperidone treatment response in first-episode antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia.

Authors: Zongchang Z. Li, Maolin M. Hu, Xiaofen X. Zong, Ying Y. He, Dong D. Wang, Lulin L. Dai, Min M. Dong, Jun J. Zhou, Hongbao H. Cao, Luxian L. Lv, Xiaogang X. Chen, Jinsong J. Tang
Published: 12/18/2015, Scientific reports


Accumulating evidence indicates a putative association of telomere length and mitochondrial function with antipsychotics response in schizophrenia (SCZ). However, pharmacological findings were limited and no previous work has assessed this in a prospective longitudinal study. This study assessed telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number in first-episode antipsychotic-naïve SCZ patients with 8-week risperidone treatment to evaluate the association between these biomarkers and clinical treatment response. We recruited 137 first-episode antipsychotic-naive SCZ patients (and 144 controls) at baseline and 89 patients completed the 8-week follow-up. Patients, completed follow-up, were divided into Responders (N = 46) and Non-Responders (N = 43) according to the percentage of symptoms improvement. Linear regression analyses show that SCZ patients had significantly lower mtDNA copy number (β = -0.108, p = 0.002), and no alteration of telomere length when compared with healthy controls. In addition, compared with Non-Responders, Responders had significantly lower mtDNA copy number (β = -0.178, p = 0.001), and longer telomere length (β = 0.111, p = 0.071) before the 8-week treatment. After treatment, Responders persisted lower mtDNA copy number comparing with No-Responders (partial η(2) = 0.125, p = 0.001). These findings suggest that telomere length and mtDNA copy number may hold the potential to serve as predictors of antipsychotic response of SCZ patients.

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