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

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Early Interv Psychiatry


BPRS; IL-6; aerobic exercise; depressive symptoms; first episode schizophrenia; inflammation


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.

Clinical Institute

Mental Health

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)




Behavioral Health