Study: schizophrenia symptoms 'significantly reduced' by B vitamins

A new study funded by the University of Manchester and The Medical Research Council reveals that B vitamins may 'significantly reduce' schizophrenic symptoms in afflicted individuals. Those B vitamins include the most common ones like B6 and B12, and may greatly aid standard treatments for schizophrenia to improve the outcome for patients. The finding were recently published in the Psychological Medicine journal.

The study set out to investigate whether various minerals and vitamins could improve schizophrenia symptoms when taken as a supplement. Thus far, the researchers have found that B vitamins "effectively improve outcomes for some patients," according to the study's lead author Joseph Firth. "This could be an important advance, given that new treatments for this condition are so desperately needed."

As it stands, schizophrenia is treated using anti-psychotic drugs, and though temporarily effective in most patients, the long-term tendency to relapse within the next half decade following the start of treatment is somewhere around 80-percent. The cost of treating schizophrenia is expensive over the long term, as prognosis is usually poor.

By looking at existing clinical trials, the researchers discovered that both mixtures of B vitamins and high doses of particular B vitamins showed degrees of effectiveness at reducing schizophrenic symptoms. Early intervention appears to be more promising in terms of effectiveness; some studies indicate that patients with deficiencies (nutritional or genetic) may be better impacted by high dose vitamin treatments, as well.

SOURCE: EurekAlert