On 30 November at 14 Kärt Kriisa will defend her doctoral thesis „Profile of acylcarnitines, inflammation and oxidative stress in first-episode psychosis before and after antipsychotic treatment“.
Senior Research Fellow Liina Haring (PhD (neuroteadused)), Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tartu
Professor Mihkel Zilmer (dr. med. (medicine)), TÜ Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, University of Tartu
Professor Eero Vasar (dr. med. (medicine)), Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, University of Tartu
Professor Maija Dambrova (PhD, Dr. Pharm.), Head of Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry Department, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Riga
Mental disorders have long been a part of human history, but as a discrete mental illness schizophrenia was first described slightly over 100 years ago. Schizophrenia is affecting about 1% of the population and is considered one of the top 15 leading causes of disability worldwide. Persons with schizophrenia have an exceptionally short life expectancy resulting in approximately 15-20 years below that of the general population. Schizophrenia spectrum disorders tend to start with first-episode psychosis at an early adult age. Psychosis is a complex of symptoms accompanying schizophrenia like perceptual disturbances of reality, hallucinations, thought and executive function disorders. The diagnostic hurdle so far has been the relatively subjective diagnostic modality that may result in errors due to the complex spectrum of symptoms, their similarities to several mental disorders and the absence of specific set of diagnostic biomarkers.
Psychosis is usually preceded by changes in metabolic processes including glycose and lipid metabolism and shifts in oxidative stress or inflammatory biomarkers’ levels (i.e. metabolic dysregulation). At the same time there is no final consensus of the greatest contributor to the metabolic dysregulation: whether it is the disease or the side-effects of antipsychotic treatment. Studying the status of metabolomic biomarkers in FEP patients before and after 7-month antipsychotic treatment may shed some light in this topic.
Studying the first-episode psychosis patients of the Psychiatric Clinic of Tartu University Hospital and analysing and comparing the results with carefully selected control group enabled to draw the following conclusions: FEP is associated with low-grade inflammation with a remarkable change in lipidomics (the referred acylcarnitines) but without any considerable increase in OxS. Seven-month antipsychotic treatment of FEP is capable of reversing these changes and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation to the level of control group.