Broccoli Sprouts: Schizophrenia Symptoms
Many people with schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions that can significantly impact their everyday life.
Indeed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia affects more than 21 million people worldwide, — more than 50% of people do not receive proper care.
Anti-psychotic drugs are a common form of treatment, but they are not effective for all people with the condition. These drugs come with many side effects — some of which are serious. For example, cardiovascular issues, tremors, memory and cognitive impairments are part of the list.
Sulforaphane Looks Promising
John Hopkins researchers believe that a chemical imbalance in the brain might be responsible for schizophrenia. And a supplement extracted from broccoli sprouts, called sulforaphane might be the cure.
Their study examined 81 people diagnosed with schizophrenia. A magnet measured brain regions, with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). This procedure shows the levels of various chemicals in the brain.
On average, schizophrenics have 4% less of the chemical glutamate and glutathionein the anterior cingulate cortex region. Glutamate transmits signals between nerve cells. Previous research found evidence that a glutamate deficiency is linked to schizophrenia onset.
Sulforaphane increases glutamate levels thereby increasing transmission of signals between cells.
Participants were given sulforaphane over seven consecutive days. MRS data examining three brain regions before and after taking the supplement showed improvement. After one week, there was a 30% increase in glutathione levels.
Researchers are hopeful that sulforaphane can become a replacement for the current anti-psychotic drugs to treat schizophrenia.