AIMS--To determine the concentrations of pentane (a marker of lipid peroxidation) and other volatile organic compounds in the breath of patients with schizophrenia. METHODS--Volatile organic compounds were assayed by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) in 88 subjects--25 with acute schizophrenic psychosis, 26 with psychiatric disorders other than schizophrenia, and 37 normal volunteers. RESULTS--The mean alveolar gradients of pentane and carbon disulfide (CS2) were significantly higher in the patients with schizophrenia than in the control groups. CONCLUSIONS--Schizophrenia may be accompanied by accelerated lipid peroxidation in cell membranes, as well as increased manufacture of CS2, a known neurotoxin.
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