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May 1992

Phosphomonoesters and Phosphodiesters in the Brains of Schizophrenic Patients

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington, DC 20307-5001

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992;49(5):416. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1992.01820050080015

To the Editor.—  Recent studies by Pettegrew et al1 and Williamson et al2 provide exciting opportunities for furthering the understanding of schizophrenia. Using magnetic resonance imaging, both groups found reduced levels of phosphomonoesters (PME) in the prefrontal cortex of the brains of schizophrenic patients; however, only Pettegrew et al1 found elevated phosphodiester (PDE) levels in the same region. Williamson et al2 found PDE levels to be normal. Five of the 11 patients studied by Pettegrew et al1 had paranoia. Unfortunately, Williamson et al2 did not provide diagnostic classification.Diagnostic information may be important in that Gattaz3 found in- creased phospholipase A2 activity in schizophrenics. Pettegrew et al1 referred to this finding when suggesting causes of increased PDE levels but failed to mention that all of Gattaz's patients had paranoia. Considering that Williamson et al2 did not find increased PDE levels, it