The association between cytokines and psychomotor speed in a spectrum of psychotic disorders: A longitudinal study
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Original versionBrain, Behavior, & Immunity - Health. 2021, 18, 100392. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbih.2021.100392
Background In schizophrenia, impaired psychomotor speed is a common symptom predicting worse functional outcome. Inflammation causes changes in white matter integrity, which may lead to reduced psychomotor speed. Therefore, we wanted to investigate if peripheral inflammation assessed with cytokines affected performance on psychomotor speed in patients with a spectrum of psychotic disorders. Methods The current study is a prospective cohort study, including participants from a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial comparing three atypical antipsychotics in patients with a spectrum of psychotic disorders. For the purposes of this sub-study, we analysed drug treatment groups collectively. Psychomotor speed was assessed at baseline, and at weeks 6, 12, 26 and 52 of follow-up, using the neuropsychological tests trail making test (TMT) A and B, and symbol coding. Serum concentration of the following cytokines were measured: interleukin (IL)-β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL12 p70, IL-17a, interferon (IFN)-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Blood samples were collected at baseline and after 1, 3, 6, 12, 26, 39 and 52 weeks. We analysed the effect of cytokines levels on psychomotor speed over time in linear mixed effects models. Results In our linear mixed effects models controlling for possible confounders, IFN-γ had a significant negative effect on TMT-A and symbol coding performance. None of the other tests for psychomotor speed were significantly associated with cytokines. Overall psychomotor speed performance increased significantly across the study period while cytokine levels remained stable. Conclusion Our study indicates a negative association between IFN-γ and psychomotor speed, which might be of importance when understanding the mechanisms behind psychomotor deviations in psychotic disorders.