Changes in inflammation are related to depression and amount of aerobic exercise in first episode schizophrenia

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines have been reported in meta-analyses of multi-episode schizophrenia patients when compared to controls. However, little is known about whether these same relationships are present in the early course of schizophrenia. Objective: To assess first episode schizophrenia patients for depression and to assay blood samples collected at baseline and at 6 months for interleukin-6 (IL-6). Materials and Methods: Trained raters used the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale to assess depressive symptoms and a standard lab assay kit to assess for IL-6 levels in plasma. Conclusions: Decreases in pro-inflammatory IL-6 levels were significantly related to decreases in depressive symptoms. Within a subset of patients in a 6-month aerobic exercise protocol, the number of exercise sessions completed was significantly correlated with the amount of decrease in IL-6. The reductions observed in IL-6 with aerobic exercise suggest exercise is a promising intervention to reduce brain inflammation effects in schizophrenia patients.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ventura J; McEwen S; Subotnik KL; Hellemann GS; Ghadiali M; Rahimdel A; Seo MJ; Irwin MR; Nuechterlein KH
  • Start Page

  • 213
  • End Page

  • 216
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 1