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News Brief: Elevated NMDA Receptor Antibodies in Schizophrenia Overturned

May 29, 2014. A 2013 JAMA Psychiatry study reported elevated levels of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor antibodies in schizophrenia, but in a May 28 letter published online in the journal, the authors now report that a re-analysis of their data did not find a statistical difference between patients and controls.

In the original study, Johann Steiner, University of Magdeburg, Germany, and colleagues found higher NMDA receptor antibody levels in blood samples from 121 schizophrenia subjects compared to 230 controls (see SRF related news report). In response to recent findings from another group reporting nearly 30-fold higher antibody levels in healthy control subjects than the 2013 study (Hammer et al., 2013), Steiner and colleagues re-analyzed their control blood samples. They, too, found higher control antibody levels than in their original study, thereby washing out the diagnostic group effect.—Allison A. Curley.

Steiner J, Teegen B, Schiltz K, Bernstein H, Stoecker W, Bogerts B. Prevalence of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Autoantibodies in the Peripheral Blood: Healthy Control Samples Revisited. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 28, 2014. Abstract

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