Background. Previous studies suggested dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in schizophrenia patients, but the mechanism remains unclear. Recently, the measurement of salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) has been considered a useful tool for evaluating ANS, especially the sympathoadrenal medullary system. Furthermore, there was a report that patients with schizophrenia showed much higher sAA level than normal controls. Methods. We present the case of a 51-year-old female with catatonic schizophrenia. She needed the treatment of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). We evaluated her sAA level and her psychiatric symptoms during the treatment. Results. Before ECT treatment, she showed high sAA level. Her sAA level decreased during the course of ECT, and this attenuation was accompanied by improvement of schizophrenic symptoms. Conclusion. We consider that measurement of the sAA level may be one of the useful biological markers for assessment of psychotic state and efficacy of treatment in patients with schizophrenia.
Case Reports in Psychiatry
Copyright c 2012 Masa Ieda et al.