Research Article| Volume 20, ISSUE 10, P1103-1108, October 1985

Use of the polyethylene glycol adduct of l-asparaginase for the treatment of hyperasparaginemia in a schizophrenic patient

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      A man with hyperasparaginemia, presumably due to chronic deficiency of asparaginase activity, had been schizophrenic and unresponsive to antipsychotic drugs for at least 22 years. He was given repeated injections of bacterial l-asparaginase rendered relatively nonimmunugenic by covalent binding to polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG-aspraginase lowered plasma asparagine concentrations from 4 to 5 sd above normal down to undetectable levels, and eliminated asparagine from the cerebrospinal fluid. Despite biochemical correction lasting at least 55 days, the patient did not improve psychiatrically. Experience limited to this single patient suggests that PEG-asparaginase therapy is relatively innocuous, but does not clarify whether there is an etiological relationship between hyperasparaginemia and psychiatric illness.
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