Protein-C reactive as biomarker predictor of schizophrenia phases of illness? A systematic review

Laura Orsolini, Fabiola Sarchione, Federica Vellante, Michele Fornaro, Ilaria Matarazzo, Giovanni Martinotti, Alessandro Valchera, Marco Di Nicola, Alessandro Carano, Massimo Di Giannantonio, Giampaolo Perna, Luigi Olivieri, Domenico De Berardis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Schizophrenia is a complex illness in which genetic, environmental, and epigenetic components have been implicated. However, recently, psychiatric disorders appear to be related to a chronic inflammatory state, at the level of specific cerebral areas which have been found as well impaired and responsible for schizophrenia symptomatology. Hence, a role of inflammatory mediators and cytokines has been as well defined. Accordingly, the role of an acute inflammatory phase protein, the C-reactive protein (CRP) has been recently investigated. Objective: The objective of the present study is to evaluate how PCR may represent a biomarker in schizophrenia, i.e. correlated with illness phases and/or clinical manifestation and/or psychopathological severity. Methods: A systematic review was here carried out by searching the following keywords ((C-reactive protein AND ((schizophrenia) OR (psychotic disorder))) for the topics ‘PCR’ and ‘Schizophrenia’, by using MESH terms. Results: An immune dysfunction and inflammation have been described amongst schizophrenic patients. Findings reported elevated CRP levels in schizophrenia, mainly correlated with the severity of illness and during the recrudescent phase. CRP levels are higher when catatonic features, negative symptomatology and aggressiveness are associated. CRP levels appeared not to be related to suicidal behaviour and ideation. Conclusion: CRP and its blood levels have been reported higher amongst schizophrenic patients, by suggesting a role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Further studies are needed to better understand if CRP may be considered a biomarker in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-606
Number of pages24
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • C-reactive protein
  • Chronic illness
  • Inflammation
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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