NMDA receptor mRNA correlation with antemortem cognitive impairment in schizophrenia

Neuroreport. 1996 Aug 12;7(12):2051-5. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199608120-00040.


We investigated the expression of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, an important glutamate receptor, in brains from a population of well characterized schizophrenic patients who prospectively consented to tissue donation. Levels of NR-1 mRNA in tissue homogenates of superior temporal cortex were reduced by 30% in cognitively impaired schizophrenic patients compared with controls (p < 0.04), while levels in patients without cognitive impairment showed no such reduction. The NR-1 mRNA deficit was significantly correlated with general cognitive function as rated with the Global Deterioration scale (p < 0.001), the Mini-Mental State examination (p < 0.01) and the premorbid IQ determined using the National Adult Reading Test (NART, p < 0.01). NR-1 mRNA concentration was not correlated with age, sex, pH or postmortem delay in the control and schizophrenia group when analysed separately or combined. There was, therefore, a significant correlation between NR-1 mRNA loss and cognitive deterioration in patients with schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate