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Original article| Volume 60, ISSUE 6, P645-649, September 15, 2006

Glycine Transporter I Inhibitor, N-methylglycine (Sarcosine), Added to Clozapine for the Treatment of Schizophrenia

      Background

      Agonists at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-glycine site (D-serine, glycine, D-alanine and D-cycloserine) and glycine transporter-1 (GlyT-1) inhibitor (N-methylglycine, or called sarcosine) both improve the symptoms of stable chronic schizophrenia patients receiving concurrent antipsychotics. Previous studies, however, found no advantage of D-serine, glycine, or D-cycloserine added to clozapine. The present study aims to determine the effects of sarcosine adjuvant therapy for schizophrenic patients receiving clozapine treatment.

      Methods

      Twenty schizophrenic inpatients enrolled in a 6-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of sarcosine (2 g/day) which was added to their stable doses of clozapine. Measures of clinical efficacy and side-effects were determined every other week.

      Results

      Sarcosine produced no greater improvement when co-administered with clozapine than placebo plus clozapine at weeks 2, 4, and 6. Sarcosine was well tolerated and no significant side-effect was noted.

      Conclusions

      Unlike patients treated with other antipsychotics, patients who received clozapine treatment exhibit no improvement by adding sarcosine or agonists at the NMDA-glycine site. Clozapine possesses particular efficacy, possibly related to potentiation of NMDA-mediated neurotransmission. This may contribute to the clozapine’s unique clinical efficacy and refractoriness to the addition of NMDA-enhancing agents.

      Key Words

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