Piece of Mind: Mental Health & Psychiatry


Minisode: Clozapine, neutropenia and treatment-resistant schizophrenia

We’re delighted to be joined by Dr Sophie Legge and Dr Antonio Pardiñas for our latest minisode to discuss their latest research study.

Sophie, Antonio and colleagues at Cardiff University’s MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics examined genetic data from more than 500 people of African descent taking clozapine, an anti-psychotic medication prescribed to people with treatment resistant schizophrenia.

Clozapine is currently the most effective treatment for people with treatment-resistant schizophrenia, but it can cause a rare side effect called neutropenia. In the most extreme cases, this can develop into agranulocytosis; a severe and potentially life-threatening condition.

These side-effects are characterised by lower neutrophil levels, a type of white blood cell, and these lower levels appear to be more common in people of African descent. The team were interested in learning whether genetic factors were at play, and in this minisode Sophie and Antonio explain what they found and how their results could help improve the management of clozapine treatment.

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