Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology

Association of Glial Cell-Line Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor with Duration of Untreated Psychosis and Clinical Symptoms in Drug-Naive Schizophrenia


Psychiatry - private, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Sakarya University Training and Research Hospital, Sakarya, Turkey


Department of Biochemistry, Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Kütahya Health Sciences University, Kütahya, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2021; 31: 252-260
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2021.21715
Read: 655 Downloads: 253 Published: 23 September 2021

Background: The neurodevelopmental hypothesis is one of the most-emphasized hypotheses in the etiology of schizophrenia. Nerve growth factor (NGF) and glial cell-line derived neurotropic factor (GDNF) are neurotrophic factors that provide growth, differentiation, and survival in nerve cells in the development process. In this study, we aimed to compare the GDNF and NGF levels of schizophrenia patients with healthy controls and to analyze the relationship between the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores, serum GDNF and NGF levels and the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) of the patients.

Methods: The study involved 45 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, who had never used any antipsychotic drug, and 45 age- and sex-matched healthy participants. The participants filled a sociodemographic data form. The PANSS was applied to evaluate the clinical conditions. Before the initiation of the treatment, serum samples were collected from the patients.

Results: The difference between the GDNF and NGF levels of the patient group and control group was statistically significant. The serum GDNF and NGF levels in schizophrenia patients were lower than healthy controls. No correlation was found between the DUP and serum GDNF and NGF levels. There was a positive correlation between general psychopathology and negative scores of PANSS and the DUP of patients.

Conclusion: GDNF and NGF levels seem to be indicators of schizophrenia and its progress; nevertheless, we still do not have sufficient information about these neurotrophic factors. The results of our study indicate that the neurodevelopmental changes occurring at the early stages of the illness prominently affect the progress of disease, highlighting the importance of treatment in the early stages of disease.

Cite this article as: Tıkır B, Asan Ö, Uzdoğan A, Şahiner ŞY, Göka E. Association of glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor with duration of untreated psychosis and clinical symptoms in drug-naive schizophrenia. Psychiatr Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021;31(3):252-260.

EISSN 2475-0581