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Peripheral levels of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in youths in ultra-high risk for psychosis: a pilot study

  • Maiara Zeni-Graiff (a1), Adiel C. Rios (a1), Pawan K. Maurya (a1) (a2), Lucas B. Rizzo (a1), Sumit Sethi (a1), Ana S. Yamagata (a1), Rodrigo B. Mansur (a3) (a4), Pedro M. Pan (a5) (a6), Elson Asevedo (a1) (a5) (a6), Graccielle R. Cunha (a1) (a5) (a6), André Zugman (a1) (a5) (a6), Rodrigo A. Bressan (a1) (a5) (a6), Ary Gadelha (a1) (a5) (a6) and Elisa Brietzke (a1) (a3) (a7)...



Oxidative stress has been documented in chronic schizophrenia and in the first episode of psychosis, but there are very little data on oxidative stress prior to the disease onset.


This work aimed to compare serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in young individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) of developing psychosis with a comparison healthy control group (HC).


Thirteen UHR subjects and 29 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) were enrolled in this study. Clinical assessment included the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS), the Semi-Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis-I (SCID-I) or the Kiddie-SADS-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. Activities of SOD and GPx were measured in serum by the spectrophotometric method using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits.


After adjusting for age and years of education, there was a significant lower activity of SOD and lower GPX activity in the UHR group compared to the healthy control group (rate ratio [RR]=0.330, 95% CI 0.187; 0.584, p<0.001 and RR=0.509, 95% CI 0.323; 0.803, p=0.004, respectively). There were also positive correlations between GAF functioning scores and GPx and SOD activities.


Our results suggest that oxidative imbalances could be present prior to the onset of full-blown psychosis, including in at-risk stages. Future studies should replicate and expand these results.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Elisa Brietzke, Department of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Borges Lagoa, 570- 1o andar, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. (Email:


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Maiara Zeni-Graiff and Adiel C. Rios contributed equally and are qualified as first authors.



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