The niacin response biomarker as a schizophrenia endophenotype: A status update

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2018 Sep;136:95-97. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2017.06.014. Epub 2017 Jun 30.


Increasingly, it is recognized that the behavioral syndrome of schizophrenia is not a unitary disease with a single underlying cause. Rather, it may have several possible etiologies, and its symptoms may arise from multiple causes. Such heterogeneity could account for some of the difficulties in elucidating its genetics, and may also explain clinical observations of variable medication response in schizophrenia. The ability to categorize schizophrenia using objectively recognizable, physiologically-based subtypes promises to make our understanding of schizophrenia more comprehensive and could provide some clues for more personalized treatment. This paper will review the extent to which an abnormally blunted skin flush response to niacin satisfies the criteria for a schizophrenia endophenotype.

Keywords: Biomarker; Endophenotype; Niacin; Schizophrenia; Vasodilation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endophenotypes / metabolism
  • Erythema / chemically induced*
  • Erythema / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Niacin / adverse effects*
  • Precision Medicine
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism


  • Niacin