Using Proteomic Analysis to Explore the Biomarkers of Psychiatric Symptoms: Comparing Schizophrenia with Bipolar I Disorder

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Background: Both schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder are common and severe mental illness. In addition to similar clinical manifestations, both disorders have high heritability and genetic correlation, resulting in difficulty for diagnosis and treatment. Currently, no reliable biomarker has been identified to differentiate these mental disorders. Proteomic analysis has been applied to explore the potential biomarkers for single mental illness. However, using such technique to explore common symptoms in two highly genetic correlated mental disorders is still lacking. Objective: (1) Using proteomic analysis technique to find the protein expression difference (i.e. ”trait” biomarkers) among healthy controls, schizophrenia patients and bipolar I disorder patients, focusing on symptoms domain. (2) Comparing protein expression change in acute patients at baseline and at 8-week treatment to identify potential “state” biomarkers for certain psychiatric symptoms. Methods: During 1st year, we will recruit 50 schizophrenia patients, 50 bipolar I disorder patients and 50 healthy controls. We will use Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview to ascertain their diagnosis, followed by using Positive and Negative Symptoms Rating Scale, Young Mania Rating Scale and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale to determine the severity of psychiatric symptoms. Blood sample will be drawn for serum protein expression analysis using Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) at baseline and 8-week follow-up. Our analyses will not restrict on current DSM diagnosis category. Instead, we will apply principle component analysis to find symptoms cluster and specific symptoms to ascertain the difference. During 2nd year, bioinformatics’ tools and specific databases for data processing and pathway analysis will be conducted. Independent participants (20 for each group) will be recruited for replication study. Proteomic biomarkers in peripheral blood which discovered in the first year will be validated by ELISA methods. We expect to find some novel protein contributing to specific symptoms (cluster) and even have opportunities to find new psychiatric nosology.

Project IDs

Project ID:PC10701-0668
External Project ID:MOST106-2314-B182-038-MY2
Effective start/end date01/08/1831/07/19


  • Proteomics
  • Biomarker
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar I disorder


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