pnpbp34_4_688.pdf 1.13 MB
Previous studies have demonstrated the autonomic dysregulation in patients with schizophrenia using electrophysiological methods, such as electrodermal measures and heart rate analysis. Several theories have been proposed to explain the underlying mechanisms of schizophrenia and its autonomic function. Recently, the measurement of salivary alpha-amylase has been considered to be a useful tool for evaluating the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) system. Psychosocial stress increases the release of salivary alpha-amylase. Although some studies have evaluated salivary alpha-amylase under psychosocial stress, no studies have demonstrated the change in the salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) activity level in schizophrenic patients. We examined the relationship between sAA level and psychiatric state in patients with schizophrenia (n = 54) using a portable and rapid hand-held monitor to investigate sAA. The sAA activity in the patients was significantly higher than that in the control subjects (n = 55) (p < 0.01). The correlation between amylase level and psychiatric symptoms was highly significant (r = 0.37, p < 0.01). These findings indicate that higher increases in sAA may indicate severe psychiatric symptoms. These results indicate a predominant role of the sympathetic nervous system in the secretion of sAA, together with parasympathetic withdrawal, under psychosocial stress.
Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry
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