September 11, 2005

Glycine and Homocysteine Levels in Schizophrenia

Levels of glycine are lower and levels of homocysteine are higher in those who have schizophrenia which may contribute to certain aspects of the illness. Glycine is an amino acid as well as a neurotransmitter affecting the central nervous system. Homocysteine is an amino acid affecting numerous aspects of our health.

Researchers in Jerusalem, Israel looked at glycine and homocysteine levels in 94 individuals with schizophrenia, as well as 34 mentally healthy controls. They were examining how these levels affected "symptom profile and medication status."

"Plasma glycine levels were significantly lower in the patients with schizophrenia than in controls, with values in male and female patients being 15.0% and 14.3% lower than healthy men and women, respectively. A difference in the ratio of glycine to serine between patients and controls was also highly robust.

Moreover, the low glycine levels correlated significantly with high levels of negative symptoms, but not with the severity of any other symptom clusters" (, 2005).

Those with schizophrenia had high homocysteine levels, even more so in men. Males with schizophrenia had a 65% higher level of homocysteine than healthy males. Females with schizophrenia had levels 25% higher than the female controls.

Those taking medication for schizophrenia still had lower levels of glycine. Although all medications still gave result to lower levels, the actual level depended on the antipsychotic medication being taken. Clozapine specifically tended to give way to higher levels (a good thing) of glycine compared to other antipsychotics.

For more information on Glycine and Schizophrenia - see our Special report Glycine Therapy - A New Direction for Schizophrenia Treatment? (A scientific Analysis)

Original Source: Glycine and homocysteine levels linked to schizophrenia. September 12, 2005.

This research article was published in Am J Psychiatry 2005; 162: 1738–1740.


I am interested in the research in Israel about homocysteine. My son has schizophrenia and I have encouraged him to take what I am taking is Vitamin B-6, B-12 and Folic Acid. I understand this combination is homocysteine. Does this help. My son is taking seroquel, haldol, wellbrutin and will not longer take wellbrutin and then will go on lexapro next month.
Thank you---

Posted by: Annette Allison at September 17, 2005 02:01 PM

Thank God for this ‘B 12; schizophrenic males’ -research! I bow to the people who did this!

My son “Pete” (24) has had undifferentiated schizophrenia for 7 years and has been a mental hospital resident for 5. He self medicated. The doctors say he is the most severe case in the Canadian province of … I had Vitamin ‘B:’ deficiency during my pregnancy with him and had to take extra B’s in addition to the pregnancy vitamin supplement to feel better. My mother had pernicious anemia.

He has been experimented on for years with the latest ‘new drugs’ -with no results. As a last resort he was given over ten electric shock treatments –with no results.

As the result of this research my son Pete has got his brain back to the point he can ask us questions and we can have a 10 minute conversation. Of course the doctors are giving him the minimum dosage which I believe in this case -more would be better??? He still hears voices but is not delusional to the extent of being a danger to his family (we were advised to move out of town for our safety).

Now there is hope! Thank you for relieving the tremendous suffering our family has had at the hands of ignorant doctors. At first, I thought he was a drug addict until the police suggested he had mental illness. Then his GP wouldn’t refer him for a mental assessment and we had to lay charges and send him to a juvenile mental hospital to get him help. When I mentioned vitamin 'B' therapy to the doctors you can guess their response -lets see what the drugs will do first. The doctors refuse to return my calls. Nurses have asked me not to call them about his condition. The hospital system breaks up families.

Thank you for giving back to me a part of my son : ) ! I don’t know what his future will be. He was extremely gifted and smart as a child (parents have higher education.) Will he recover the brain damage that left him learning disabled to this point? –I don’t know. If he can have an assisted life outside the hospital would be a miracle! His friends are doing their Ph D’s and he can’t remember to play the guitar or math.

God Bless (now I know there must be one because he guided these researchers!) Donna Kelly

Posted by: Donna Kelly at April 10, 2007 11:50 AM

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