2016 issue 4


Volume 32, issue 4

Original article

Effects of glutamatergic modulators in the treatment of schizophrenia. The results of our two studies

Dominik Strzelecki1
1. Department of Affective and Psychotic Disorders, Medical University of Łódź
Farmakoterapia w Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2016, 32 (4), 221–229
Date of publication: 15-03-2017
DOI: http://dx.medra.org/10.17393/fpn.2017.02.001
Keywords: schizophrenia, negative symptoms, glycine, NMDA receptor, glutamatergic system, sarcosine


Objectives. The article presents the results of two prospective clinical studies using glutamatergic system modulators – glycine and sarcosine, as conducted in the Department of Affective and Psychotic Disorders at the Medical University of Lodz.

Material and methods. In both studies, participants were previously diagnosed with schizophrenia with predominantly negative symptoms. The inclusion criteria included a stable mental state and established dosing of antipsychotic drugs. In both projects we monitored the efficacy of glutamatergic drugs on the symptomatology of schizophrenia with the PANSS scale as the primary assessment tool.

Results. In the first project – designed as an open-label study – we monitored the effect of glycine (0.8 g/kg of body mass, max. 60 g per day), NMDA receptor co-agonist during the 6-week administration of this amino acid. We noted a significant score reduction in negative symptoms and general psychopathology subscales and in total PANSS. In the second project a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled 6-month trial, we evaluated the efficacy of sarcosine (2 grams per day), glycine transporter type 1 inhibitor. In this study we demonstrated a significant improvement in negative symptoms and general psychopathology, as well as in the total PANSS score in the sarcosine group. In the placebo group, changes were insignificant.

Conclusions. Glycine and sarcosine were effective and well tolerated by the patients.

Address for correspondence:
Dominik Strzelecki
Department of Affective and Psychotic Disorders,
Medical University of Łódź
ul. Czechosłowacka 8/10, 92-216 Łódź, Poland
phone: +48 426 757 371
email: dominik.strzelecki@umed.lodz.pl