Background/Purpose: Orexin-A levels are reportedly increased in antipsychotic (APD)-treated patients with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls and have been associated with metabolic abnormalities. It is not clear whether the orexin-A elevation is related specifically to the drug (APDs) effect, which should be clarified by including a drug-free group for comparison, or related to drug-induced metabolic abnormalities. Methods: Blood orexin-A levels and metabolic profiles were compared between 37 drug-free, 45 aripiprazole-treated, and 156 clozapine-treated patients with schizophrenia. The association between orexin-A and metabolic outcomes were examined. We explored the effects of APDs treatment and metabolic status on orexin-A levels by linear regression. Results: Patients under APDs treatment had increased orexin-A levels compared to drug-free patients, with aripiprazole-treated group having higher orexin-A levels than clozapine-treated group. Higher orexin-A levels reduced the risks of metabolic syndrome (MS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus, indicating a relationship between orexin-A levels and metabolic problems. After adjusting the effect from metabolic problems, we found APD treatment is still associated with orexin-A regulation, with aripiprazole more significantly than clozapine. Conclusion: With the inclusion of drug-free patients rather than healthy controls for comparison, we demonstrated that orexin-A is upregulated following APD treatment even after we controlled the potential effect from MS, suggesting an independent effect of APDs on orexin-A levels. Furthermore, the effect differed between APDs with dissimilar obesogenicity, i.e. less obesogenicity likely associated with higher orexin-A levels. Future prospective studies exploring the causal relationship between APDs treatment and orexin-A elevation as well as the underlying mechanisms are warranted.
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus