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ApoE elevation is associated with the persistence of psychotic experiences from age 12 to age 18: Evidence from the ALSPAC birth cohort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Sophie Sabherwal
  • Melanie Föcking
  • Jane A English
  • Stephen Fitzsimons
  • Magdalena Hryniewiecka
  • Kieran Wynne
  • Caitriona Scaife
  • Colm Healy
  • Mary Cannon
  • Orina Belton
  • Stanley Zammit
  • Gerard Cagney
  • David R Cotter
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Early online date10 May 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 1 May 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2019


Apolipoproteins, which play important roles in lipid metabolism, innate immunity and synaptic signalling, have been implicated in first episode psychosis and schizophrenia. This is the first study to investigate plasma apolipoprotein expression in children with psychotic experiences that persist into adulthood. Here, using semi-targeted proteomic analysis we compared plasma apolipoprotein expression levels in age 12 subjects who reported psychotic experiences at both age 12 and age 18 (n = 37) with age-matched subjects who only experienced psychotic experiences (PEs) at age 12 (n = 38). Participants were recruited from the UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort who participated in psychiatric assessment interviews at ages 12 and 18. We identified apoE, a protein with significant regulatory activity on cholesterol metabolism in the brain, to be significantly up regulated (p < 0.003) in those with persistent psychotic experiences. We confirmed this finding in these samples using ELISA. Our findings indicate elevated plasma apoE in age 12 children who experience PEs is associated with persistence psychotic experiences.

    Research areas

  • ALSPAC, ApoE, Apolipoprotein, Outcome, Proteomics, Psychotic experience



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