Complete blood count inflammatory markers in treatment-resistant schizophrenia: Evidence of association between treatment responsiveness and levels of inflammation

Caleb Labonté, Naista Zhand, Angela Park, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that the variable response to antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia reflects distinct biological subtypes. The pathophysiology of schizophrenia is associated with alteration in the immune system which can be measured with complete blood count (CBC) markers of systemic inflammation, including the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR). While previous research suggested a decrease in CBC inflammatory markers following treatment, it is unknown if treatment or response to treatment is associated with CBC markers in treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Here, we retrospectively analyzed the CBC at admission and discharge in schizophrenia inpatients classified as treatment-responsive, treatment-resistant, and ultra-treatment-resistant. Despite similar NLR at admission, the subtypes manifested different changes in NLR during treatment resulting in significant differences at discharge. Only the treatment-responsive group presented a significant decrease in inflammatory markers after treatment. Additionally, we found that the responsive group had a higher PLR at admission and was the only subgroup to demonstrate a significant reduction following treatment. In sum, our results support the idea that persistent inflammation is a biological trait marker of treatment resistance in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114382
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume308
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Inflammation
  • Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio
  • Platelet-lymphocyte ratio
  • Schizophrenia
  • Treatment-resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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