London: Schizophrenia, a serious mental disorder that affects tens of millions of people worldwide, can be tackled through the amino acid L-lysine, a study suggests.
Preliminary research shows that patients who received L-lysine alongside their normal medication found some reduction in the severity of their symptoms.
These include poor concentration and memory, apathy, or a reduced ability to cope with social situations, the journal BMC Medicine reports.
Study leader Caroline Wass, pharmacologist at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said: "This study suggests that L-lysine may be of benefit to patients in alleviating some of the negative and cognitive effects of schizophrenia."
In the study, a group of schizophrenic patients were given either six grams of L-Lysine or a placebo every day for four weeks, according to a Gothenburg statement.
Each of the patients had been on a stable dose of medication for the past three months and had been free from psychotic episodes for the two months before the study began.
They were tested for blood levels of lysine as well as the severity of their symptoms and functional ability at the start, after four, and after eight weeks.
The bulk of the patients responded to L-lysine treatment, as shown by an increase in blood lysine levels. Some of the patients reported that they felt an improvement.