About this Research Topic
The definition of “First Psychotic Episodes” (FEP) refers to a transition period from a healthy state of the mind to a condition characterized initially by the presence of non-psychotic behavioral disturbances such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder or attenuated psychotic symptoms, leading ultimately to clear psychotic symptoms requiring an antipsychotic pharmacotherapy or to a formal diagnosis of schizophrenia. The identification of possible pathogenetic pathways leading to FEP has been the center of a lively scientific debate, including mainly a crucial role of neurotransmission alterations as well as specific changes in brain morphology, the impact of environmental factors, and genetic aspects.
However, in the last years, both pre-clinical and clinical data have highlighted a possible involvement of novel pathogenetic pathways underlying FEP development. Among them, the role of redox imbalance, defined as a disequilibrium between reactive oxygen species producing and degrading systems, began to be documented. In particular, increased amounts of free radicals with consequent oxidative stress elevation has been proposed as a valid biomarker of FEP, opening the identification of pharmacological compounds acting on brain redox status as an innovative therapeutic approach for FEP treatment.
The scope of this Research Topic will be to collect the most recent data from human and translational animal model studies investigating the contribution of novel pathogenetic mechanisms to the development of FEP, with a particular focus on the possible involvement of oxidative stress producing systems (such as mitochondria, NADPH oxidases, nitric oxide synthase) as well as antioxidant defenses (such as superoxide dismutase and the glutathione system). This Research Topic will also include the most recent pre-clinical and clinical experimental evidence regarding the possibility to consider alterations of redox status as valid and reliable biomarkers to be translated for clinical purposes in terms of identification of susceptible individuals, monitoring of the disease status, and treatment response. In addition, this Research Topic will include results derived from pre-clinical and clinical studies regarding the use of oxidative stress modifying agents as an innovative pharmacological approach for the treatment of FEP and for a possible slowing of the transition towards schizophrenia.
Keywords: First psychotic episode, oxidative stress, redox dysregulation, psychosis, antipsychotic
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