Phase II, double-blind, randomised, placebo‑controlled study of adjunctive taurine in first‑episode psychosis

Poster A92, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Colin O'Donnell1, Kelly Allott2,3, Hok Pan Yuen2,3, Patrick McGorry2,3; 1Department of Psychiatry, Donegal Mental Health Service, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland, 2Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Parkville, Australia, 3Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

Objective: Taurine is an inhibitory neuromodulatory amino-acid in the CNS and activates GABA- and glycine-insensitive chloride channel and inhibits the NMDA receptor. It also functions as a neuroprotective agent and has a role in neural development and neurogenesis. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of adjunctive taurine in improving symptomatology and cognition among patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP). Method: Patients taking low dose antipsychotic medication were randomised to receive once-daily taurine 4g or placebo for 12 weeks. One hundred and twenty one FEP patients aged 18-25 years attending early intervention services in Melbourne, Australia consented to participate. Co-primary outcomes were: change in symptomatology (measured by the BPRS total) and change in cognition (measured by the MATRICS composite score) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included tolerability and safety and additional clinical and functioning measures. Results: Eighty six participants (n=47 taurine; n=39 placebo) were included in the final analysis. Taurine significantly improved symptomatology measured by the BPRS total score (95% CI 1.8-8.5; p=0.004) and psychotic subscale (95% CI 0.1-1.5; p=0.026) compared to placebo. Additionally, improvements were observed in CDSS (95% CI 0.1-3.0; p=.047) and GAF (95% CI 0.3-8.8; p=0.04) scores. There was no group difference in composite cognitive score (95% CI -1.7-1.0; p=.582). Taurine was found to be safe and well tolerated. Conclusion: Adjunctive taurine did not improve cognition, but appears to improve psychopathology in patients with FEP. The use of taurine warrants further investigation in larger randomised studies, particularly early in the course of psychosis.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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