Evaluation of autonomic nervous system by salivary alpha-amylase level and heart rate variability in patients with schizophrenia

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2014 Feb;264(1):83-7. doi: 10.1007/s00406-013-0411-6. Epub 2013 May 5.


Several researches indicate that autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia. Recently, salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) has been employed as a useful marker for ANS function. We investigated the extent of ANS dysfunction by measuring sAA and heart rate variability (HRV) of 25 patients with schizophrenia compared with controls. Schizophrenia group demonstrated a significant increase in sAA and markedly lower parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity in the HRV. However, there were no significant differences between two groups in sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. We concluded that PNS might be suppressed and the SNS shows relatively high activity in schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Salivary alpha-Amylases / metabolism*
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Salivary alpha-Amylases