Mental illnesses with a significant psychotic component (part) can usually only be well-managed with the help of a pharmaceutical medication. That said, some people swear on the use of various supplements. All supplements must be given the “okay” by one’s mental health providers before being taken.

These drugs work on some of the types of receptors that glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter of the brain, activates. Through this action, they tend to decrease negative symptoms.

  • D-serine
    • Studies finding no significant effect were for doses too low
    • Effective when paired with any antipsychotic except clozapine
    • Few side effects
    • Mild side effects
    • Study
      • May improve “positive, negative and cognitive symptoms without worsening side effects”
    • Study
      • “Peak D-serine at study initiation correlated with the magnitude of improvement in negative and positive symptoms independently”
  • N-acytel cysteine (NAC)
    • Does not work against positive symptoms
    • Few side effects
    • Mild side effects
    • Study 
      • Found improvement in “insight, self-care, social interaction, motivation, volition, psychomotor stability and stabilization of mood”
    • Study
      • Can be effective against akathisia
  • Sarcosine
    • Effective by itself
    • Effective in combination with any other antipsychotic except clozapine
    • Few side effects
    • Mild side effects
    • Study
    • Study
      • “sarcosine was superior to placebo at all four outcome measures of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale”
    • Study
      • “[with sarcosine,] 20% or more reduction of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total score, particularly among antipsychotic-naïve patients
  • D-alanine
    • Few side effects
    • Mild side effects
    • Study
    • Study
      • “[for those taking D-alanine,] significant reductions in their Clinical Global Impression Scale and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale”
    • Study
      • “lower plasma alanine levels in patients with schizophrenia were accompanied by more severe schizophrenic symptoms, especially positive symptoms”
      • “An increase in plasma alanine levels from the acute stage to the remission stage of schizophrenia was correlated with improvement in symptoms.”

B-vitamin levels have been associated with the severity of schizophrenia.

  • Cobalamin (B12)
    • If taken with folate, can help negative symptoms
      • Study
        • Of 140 participants, three dropped out
        • “unlike the active treatment group, there was no significant change in negative symptoms among patients in the placebo group”
        • “Folate and vitamin B12 supplementation did not confer a benefit for positive symptoms or depression scores”
        • “Folate plus vitamin B12 supplementation can improve negative symptoms of schizophrenia, but treatment response is influenced by genetic variation in folate absorption.”
        • “treatment effects differed based on which genetic variants were present in each participant”
  • Folate (B9)
    •  Study
      • Can decrease metabolic syndrome
      • “these studies provide evidence of a link between different enzymes related to [how the body processes folic acid] and an increased risk of metabolic syndrome for patients with schizophrenia when taking an [atypical antipsychotic]”
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
    •  Study
      • May reduce symptoms of tardive dyskinisia and akathisia after three weeks treatment
        • ” high doses of B(6) and a low dose of mianserin may be a useful addition to current treatments of [akathisia]”
    • Study
      • “no differences between vitamin B6- and placebo-treated patients in amelioration of their mental state”
  • Niacin (B3)
    • Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and niacin levels are associated
  • Thiamine (B1)
    • If used with acetazolamide, various symptoms may improve

Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in the human body. It helps promote sleep. People tend to use it for significant jet-lag (when the travel to a different time zone, and have to adjust their natural sleep-wake rhythm.

  • Not an effective treatment of schizophrenia by itself
  • Study
    • “melatonin would be expected to improve sleep disorders in schizophrenia and side effects of anti-psychotics, such as tardive dyskinesia, metabolic syndrome and hypertension”
      • Less insomnia
      • Less high blood pressure
    • “anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects”
      • Helps fight infections
      • Promotes the health of cells
    • “Melatonin is likely to have impacts on the metabolic side effects of anti-psychotics”
      • Less chance of becoming obese
  • Study
    • “clinical evidence for efficacy of melatonin in the treatment of TD”

 

 

Sources: http://www.schizophrenia.com/