Inflammatory markers are associated with decreased psychomotor speed in patients with schizophrenia Open Access

Goldsmith, David (Fall 2020)

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Previous data have demonstrated that administration of inflammatory cytokines or their inducers leads to altered basal ganglia function associated with reduced psychomotor speed. Decreased psychomotor speed, referred to clinically as psychomotor retardation, is a core cognitive domain in patients with schizophrenia, and has been associated with poor functional outcomes. We therefore examined the cross-sectional association between plasma inflammatory markers and psychomotor speed in forty-three patients with schizophrenia. Psychomotor speed was assessed by a range of neuropsychological tests from purely motor (e.g., finger tapping tasks) to those that involve motor activity with increasing cognitive demand and cortical participation (e.g., trail making task and symbol coding task). Linear regression analyses were performed to determine the relationship of inflammatory markers and psychomotor task performance. Models were adjusted for age, race, sex, smoking status, and body mass index. Schizophrenia patients demonstrated decreased psychomotor speed on all tasks relative to published normative data from healthy controls. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) was associated with decreased performance on the finger tapping task with the non-dominant hand (b = -0.41, p = 0.012, 95% CI = -98.3, -12.79) and the trail making task (b = 0.433, p = 0.007, 95% CI = 0.123, 0.704). Soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6r) was associated with increased performance on the finger tapping task with the dominant hand (b = 0.395, p = 0.016, 95% CI = 0.118, 1.070). Taken together, the data indicate that a peripheral inflammatory profile including increased IL-10 and decreased sIL-6r is consistently associated with psychomotor speed in patients with schizophrenia. These data are consistent with data demonstrating that inflammation can impact basal ganglia function and indicate that tasks of psychomotor speed may be viable outcome variables in trials of anti-inflammatory therapies in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders with increased inflammation.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1

Background   3

Methods  7

Results  11

Discussion  17

References  24

Table 1  29

Table 2 30

Table 3 31

Table 4 33

Figure 1  34

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