Improvement of aggressive behavior and quality of life impairment following S-Adenosyl-Methionine (SAM-e) augmentation in schizophrenia

Rael D. Strous, Michael S. Ritsner, Shmuel Adler, Yael Ratner, Rachel Maayan, Moshe Kotler, Herbert Lachman, Abraham Weizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


S-Adenosyl-Methionine (SAM-e), functions as a primary methyl group donor for several metabolic compounds. Since SAM-e is involved in several metabolic processes, its administration may have a role in the amelioration of several disorders. In addition, SAM-e increases catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme activity, which may ameliorate aggressive symptoms in certain patients. We have therefore investigated the efficacy of SAM-e in managing schizophrenia symptomatology in patients with the low activity COMT polymorphism. Eighteen patients with chronic schizophrenia were randomly assigned to receive either SAM-e (800 mg) or placebo for 8 weeks in double-blind fashion. Results indicated some reduction in aggressive behavior and improved quality of life following SAM-e administration. Female patients showed improvement of depressive symptoms. Clinical improvement did not correlate with serum SAM-e levels. Two patients receiving SAM-e exhibited some exacerbation of irritability. This preliminary pilot short-term study cautiously supports SAM-e as an adjunct in management of aggressive behavior and quality of life impairment in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009



  • COMT
  • Psychosis
  • S-Adenosyl-Methionine (SAM-e)
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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