C-reactive protein in Schizophrenia and Autism

C-Reactive Protein Levels in Schizophrenia.


Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia


Schizophrenia is associated with increased inflammation, including abnormal blood levels of the acute phase reactant C-reactive protein (CRP).

We performed a meta-analysis of blood CRP levels to estimate the overall effect size, as well as a pooled analysis of the prevalence of an elevated CRP levels in patients with schizophrenia and related disorders.

We identified articles by searching Pub Med, PsychInfo, and ISI, and the reference lists of identified studies. Eight studies met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis, and five studies were included in the pooled analysis.

CRP levels were significantly increased in patients compared to controls (Effect Size [ES]=0.45, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.34-0.55, p<0.001).

There was a 28% prevalence of an elevated CRP level in patients with schizophrenia and related disorders.

Our results support a growing body of literature that schizophrenia is associated with increased inflammation, although many studies did not control for potential confounding factors such as BMI and smoking.

Given the high prevalence of elevated CRP, metabolic syndrome, and premature cardiovascular mortality, our findings also suggest that measurement of blood CRP levels may be germane to the clinical care of patients with schizophrenia and related disorders.


Further Readings of Interest


Elevated maternal C-reactive protein and autism in a national birth cohort.


Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York

Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.


Autism is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome with a largely unknown etiology. Inflammation during pregnancy may represent a common pathway by which infections and other insults increase risk for the disorder.

Hence, we investigated the association between early gestational C-reactive protein (CRP), an established inflammatory biomarker, prospectively assayed in maternal sera, and childhood autism in a large national birth cohort with an extensive serum biobank.

Other strengths of the cohort included nearly complete ascertainment of pregnancies in Finland (N=1.2 million) over the study period and national psychiatric registries consisting of virtually all treated autism cases in the population.

Increasing maternal CRP levels, classified as a continuous variable, were significantly associated with autism in offspring.

For maternal CRP levels in the highest quintile, compared with the lowest quintile, there was a significant, 43% elevated risk.

This finding suggests that maternal inflammation may have a significant role in autism, with possible implications for identifying preventive strategies and pathogenic mechanisms in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

This entry was posted in Autism, Environment, Immune System, Inflammation, Neurology, Physiology, Schizophrenia, Treatment. Bookmark the permalink.

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