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N-Acetylcysteine for the Treatment of Glutathione Deficiency and Oxidative Stress in Schizophrenia

  • Dikoma C. Shungu
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Dikoma C. Shungu, Ph.D., Department of Radiology, Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, 516 East 72nd St, New York, New York 10021
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York
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      Despite decades of intense research and development, current treatments for schizophrenia (SZ) have not only met with limited efficacy but are also often associated with serious side effects, justifying the heightened interest in the development of alternate therapies (
      • Patel J.K.
      • Pinals D.A.
      • Breier A.
      Schizophrenia and other psychoses.
      ). With mounting experimental evidence implicating glutathione (GSH) deficiency and increased oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of most major psychiatric disorders (
      • Berk M.
      • Ng F.
      • Dean O.
      • Dodd S.
      • Bush A.I.
      Glutathione: a novel treatment target in psychiatry.
      ), novel neuroprotective strategies that aim to limit oxidative stress-mediated cellular damage in such disorders, including SZ, are being increasingly scrutinized (
      • Berk M.
      • Ng F.
      • Dean O.
      • Dodd S.
      • Bush A.I.
      Glutathione: a novel treatment target in psychiatry.
      ,
      • Berk M.
      • Copolov D.
      • Dean O.
      • Lu K.
      • Jeavons S.
      • Schapkaitz I.
      • et al.
      N-acetyl cysteine as a glutathione precursor for schizophrenia—a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
      ).
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