August 24, 2006

Update on Glycine as Treatment for Schizophrenia

One of our contributors in Canada -- Marvin Ross -- attended the APA meeting in Toronto in May and sat in on the research presentations focusing on glycine and related amino acid therapies that are being investigated as possible treatments for schizophrenia.

Marvin reports, "A novel approach to the treatment of schizophrenia involving glutamatergic neurotransmission and its modulation with simple amino acids is beginning to generate interest among psychiatrists. Not only are more research studies being published in the psychiatric literature but there was an entire workshop on the topic at the most recent meeting of the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Toronto this past May (2006)".

Read the full report from the meeting here:

Glycine - a possible complementary treatment for schizophrenia

More related reading: Collection of Articles about Glycine and schizophrenia


What about TMG (trimethylglycine) ?

I have negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia (no positive symptoms that I'm aware of), and have noticed the following:

I feel better when taking TMG. Initially, I only took it to reduce homocysteine on the theory that this was good for my heart (though I am somewhat skeptical of that now.) But after noticing that my schizophrenia symptoms seem somewhat better, I have also noticed the following:

Homocysteine is higher than average in brains that have schizophrenia. TMG converts homocysteine to SAMe, turning into DMG (dimethylglycine) in the process, and then DMG is turned into sarcosine in the liver (and after that sarcosine gets turned into glycine in the liver.)

So, all that struck me as interesting, because it seems like it does a few good things in sequence. We get lowered homocysteine + SAMe + sarcosine + glycine.

(Although since glycine doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier well, and it comes into being in the liver, maybe it isn't useful. But I would think the sarcosine would be.)

I realize I'm just being an "anecdote" now, but I would like to encourage some smart researcher out there to investigate TMG if it makes any sense.

Posted by: Fred at August 30, 2006 10:48 PM

There have been 2 studies on homocystiene and schizophrenia, both showing positive benefits from lowering Homocysteine.

84. Levine J, Stahl Z, Sela BA, et al. Homocysteine-reducing strategies improve symptoms in chronic schizophrenic patients with hyperhomocysteinemia. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Jan 17.

85. Muntjewerff JW, Kahn RS, Blom HJ, den HM. Homocysteine, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and risk of schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Mol Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;11(2):143-9.

Posted by: Todd at February 19, 2007 07:55 AM

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