Peripheral inflammation is associated with impairments of inhibitory behavioral control and visual sensorimotor function in psychotic disorders

Lusi Zhang, Paulo Lizano, Yanxun Xu, Leah H. Rubin, Adam M. Lee, Rebekka Lencer, James L. Reilly, Richard S.E. Keefe, Sarah K. Keedy, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Brett A. Clementz, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Elliot S. Gershon, Carol A. Tamminga, John A. Sweeney, S. Kristian Hill, Jeffrey R. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Elevated markers of peripheral inflammation are common in psychosis spectrum disorders and have been associated with brain anatomy, pathology, and physiology as well as clinical outcomes. Preliminary evidence suggests a link between inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP) with generalized cognitive impairments in a subgroup of individuals with psychosis. Whether these patients with elevated peripheral inflammation demonstrate deficits in specific cognitive domains remains unclear. To examine this, seventeen neuropsychological and sensorimotor tasks and thirteen peripheral inflammatory and microvascular markers were quantified in a subset of B-SNIP consortium participants (129 psychosis, 55 healthy controls). Principal component analysis was conducted across the inflammatory markers, resulting in five inflammation factors. Three discrete latent cognitive domains (Visual Sensorimotor, General Cognitive Ability, and Inhibitory Behavioral Control) were characterized based on the neurobehavioral battery and examined in association with inflammation factors. Hierarchical clustering analysis identified cognition-sensitive high/low inflammation subgroups. Among persons with psychotic disorders but not healthy controls, higher inflammation scores had significant associations with impairments of Inhibitory Control (R2 = 0.100, p-value = 2.69e−4, q-value = 0.004) and suggestive associations with Visual Sensorimotor function (R2 = 0.039, p-value = 0.024, q-value = 0.180), but not with General Cognitive Ability (R2 = 0.015, p-value = 0.162). Greater deficits in Inhibitory Control were observed in the high inflammation patient subgroup, which represented 30.2 % of persons with psychotic disorders, as compared to the low inflammation psychosis subgroup. These findings indicate that inflammation dysregulation may differentially impact specific neurobehavioral domains across psychotic disorders, particularly performance on tasks requiring ongoing behavioral monitoring and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - May 2023

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© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bipolar disorder with psychotic features
  • Cognition
  • Inflammation
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia


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