The current report analyzed mitochondrial complex I activity in bipolar disorder patients, schizophrenics, and control subjects and in the presence of antipsychotic and antidepressant medications.

Complex I activity in the prefrontal cortex was decreased by 45% in schizophrenics compared to controls.  No significant difference was found in bipolar disorder. Complex I activity was also significantly decreased in pooled cases (schizophrenic and bipolar) that had detectable psychotropic medications compared to pooled cases with no detectable drug levels.

The study concluded that complex I deficiency is found in schizophrenic brain tissue, and that psychotropic medications may play a role in mitochondrial dysfunction. Studies of medication-free first-episode psychosis patients are needed to elucidate whether mitochondrial pathophysiology occurs independent of medication effects.

Rollins BL, Morgan L, Hjelm BE, Sequeira A, Schatzberg AF, Barchas JD, Lee FS, Myers RM, Watson SJ, Akil H, Potkin SG, Bunney WE, Vawter MP: Mitochondrial Complex I Deficiency in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and Medication Influence. Mol. Neuropsychiatry 3(3) 157-169 (2018).

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