Anandamide elevation in cerebrospinal fluid in initial prodromal states of psychosis.Br J Psychiatry 2009; 194(4):371-2BJ
Anandamide is a bioactive lipid binding to cannabinoid receptors. A homeostatic role for anandamide has been suggested in schizophrenia. We investigated its role in initial prodromal states of psychosis. We measured the levels of anandamide and its structural analog oleoylethanolamide in cerebrospinal fluid and serum of patients in the initial prodromal state (n=27) alongside healthy volunteers (n=81) using high-performance liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometry. Cerebrospinal anandamide levels in patients were significantly elevated. Patients with lower levels showed a higher risk for transiting to psychosis earlier. This anandamidergic up-regulation in the initial prodromal course may suggest a protective role of the endocannabinoid system in early schizophrenia.