Do schizophrenia patients age early?
Venkataram Shivakumar, Sunil V. Kalmady, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Vasanthapuram Ravi, Bangalore N. Gangadhar
Asian Journal of Psychiatry
March 01, 2014
The etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia is poorly understood. Within the proposed “neurodegeneration paradigm”, observations have been put forth for “accelerated aging” in this disorder. This proposition is largely based on the neuroscience research that demonstrates progressive changes in brain as well as other systemic abnormalities supportive of faster aging process in patients with this disorder. In this review, we have summarized the literature related to the concept of early aging in schizophrenia. These studies include P300 abnormalities & visual motion discrimination, neuroimaging findings, telomere dynamics as well as neuropathology of related brain regions. We also propose a role of vitamin D, neuroimmunological changes and elevated oxidative stress as well as mitochondrial dysfunction in addition to the above factors with ‘vitamin-D deficiency’ as the central paradox. Put together, the evidence supporting early aging in schizophrenia is compelling and this requires further systematic studies.