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Raj Persaud in conversation - the podcasts

Jul 1, 2015

Dr Paola Dazzan Reader in Neurobiology of Psychosis explains to Dr Raj Persaud the latest theory that psychosis may be related to an inflammation of the brain.


Inflammation and metabolic changes in First Episode Psychosis: Preliminary results from a longitudinal study

Contribution to journal › Article

Original language English
Journal Brain Behavior and Immunity
Journal publication date 19 Jun 2015
State Published

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

King's Authors



Metabolic abnormalities are commonly observed in patients with psychosis, and may confer greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Such abnormalities are associated with inflammation in the general population, and there is increasing evidence for elevated inflammation in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). The aim of this preliminary study is to examine the effect of changes in inflammation, as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), on metabolic changes in a three-month longitudinal study in a FEP sample. Fifty-three FEP patients from in- and out-patient services in South London, England, were included in this longitudinal study. Social and clinical data were collected, and fasting blood samples and anthropometric measurements (weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), lipid profile and gluco-metabolic parameters) were obtained at baseline and at three-month follow-up. Correlation analyses showed that those with increases in hsCRP over the three-month period also had increases in triglyceride levels (r = 0.49, p = 0.02). No association was observed with other lipid profile, or gluco-metabolic parameters. Increases in weight and BMI were also associated with increases in triglyceride levels (r = 0.33, p = 0.02; and r = 0.31, p = 0.03, respectively); however, a multiple linear regression analysis found that the effects of inflammation on triglycerides were independent from the effect of changes in weight, and from the baseline inflammatory state. Our preliminary findings suggest that those patients experiencing greater increases in inflammation early on in the course of their illness may be at greater risk of developing short-term metabolic abnormalities, in particular dyslipidaemia, independent of weight-gain. Future work should investigate the use of inflammatory markers to identify patients in greater need of physical health interventions.

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