Oxidative stress and the pathophysiology and symptom profile of schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Alex J Murray, Jack C Rogers, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq Katshu, Peter F Liddle, Rachel Upthegrove

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Schizophrenia is associated with increased levels of oxidative stress, as reflected by an increase in the concentrations of damaging reactive species and a reduction in anti-oxidant defences to combat them. Evidence has suggested that whilst not the likely primary cause of schizophrenia, increased oxidative stress may contribute to declining course and poor outcomes associated with schizophrenia. Here we discuss how oxidative stress may be implicated in the aetiology of schizophrenia and examine how current understanding relates associations with symptoms, potentially via lipid peroxidation induced neuronal damage. We argue that oxidative stress may be a good target for future pharmacotherapy in schizophrenia and suggest a multi-step model of illness progression with oxidative stress involved at each stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number703452
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding. AM was supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) for doctoral training with RU, MK, and PL related to this manuscript. RU acknowledges funding from MRC (MR/S037675/1) related to this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Murray, Rogers, Katshu, Liddle and Upthegrove.


  • antio×idants
  • dopamine
  • glutamate
  • inflammation
  • oxidative stress
  • psychosis symptoms
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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