Metabolic abnormalities are serious health problems in individuals with schizophrenia.
Paradoxically, studies have noted an association where individuals who gained body weight or who
have increased their serum lipids demonstrated a better antipsychotic response. As serum lipids
serve as more specific physiological markers than body weight, the objective of this study was to
review studies that examined the association between changes in serum lipids and changes in symptoms
during antipsychotic treatment in individuals with schizophrenia. A Medline® literature search
was performed. Fourteen studies were included and analyzed. Evidence suggests that increases in
serum lipids may be associated with decreases in symptoms during antipsychotic treatment. This
inverse association may be independent of confounding variables, such as weight gain, and may be
most evident during treatment with clozapine. Also, according to recent randomized controlled
trials, lipid-lowering agents do not appear to worsen symptoms although this needs to be further
investigated in clozapine-treated patients. Future studies should investigate the association in question
in a larger population and identify underlying mechanisms.
Keywords: Serum lipids, Triglycerides, Cholesterol, Dyslipidemia, Antipsychotics, Treatment response, Clozapine, Schizophrenia
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