nThe effect of serum lipids and short-chain fatty acids on cognitive functioning in drug-naïve, first episode schizophrenia patients

Publication Name

Psychiatry Research


Objective: Many studies have reported the important role of serum levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in lipid metabolism and cognitive dysfunction. This study investigated the role of plasma lipids and SCFAs on cognitive functioning in drug- naïve first episode schizophrenia. Methods: This study recruited 44 schizophrenia inpatients and 35 healthy controls. Plasma lipid metabolism was characterized using standard enzymatic methods and an automated analyzer. Serum levels of SCFAs were measured by Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Cognitive performance was evaluated by the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Results: The patient group showed significantly higher serum levels of total SCFAs, acetic acid, acetic acid/ propionic acid ratio, and poorer cognitive scores compared with the control group (p's < 0.05). Within the patient group, the lipid levels were positively associated with acetic acid/ propionic acid ratio (p's < 0.05). Furthermore, multiple regression analysis revealed that the interactions of LDL level × acetic acid/ propionic acid ratio was a significant predictor of the MCCB working memory, and processing speed subscale scores within the patient group. Conclusions: Cognitive dysfunction and abnormal serum levels of SCFAs occur in the early phase of schizophrenia. Lipid metabolism and serum levels of SCFAs might be, both independently or interactively, associated with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.

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Funding Sponsor

Health Commission of Henan Province



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