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Open AccessArticle

C-Reactive Protein as a Possible Predictor of Trail-Making Performance in Individuals with Psychiatric Disorders

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapeutic Medicine, Medical University Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria
2
Therapiezentrum Justuspark, 4540 Bad Hall, Austria
3
Institute of Psychology, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
4
Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 399, Canada
5
Research Unit on Lifestyle and Inflammation-associated Risk Biomarkers, Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, Medical University, 8036 Graz, Austria
6
BioTechMed-Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3019; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103019
Received: 7 September 2020 / Revised: 23 September 2020 / Accepted: 29 September 2020 / Published: 2 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Lifestyle and Mood Disorders)
Cognitive dysfunction is a prominent feature of psychiatric disorders. Studies have shown that systemic low-grade inflammation is crucial in the development of cognitive deficits across psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study was to further examine the role of inflammation and inflammatory mediators in cognitive function in psychiatric disorders. This study included 364 inpatients (53% females) with International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 F3 (affective disorders) and F4 (neurotic, stress-related, and somatoform disorders) diagnoses. The mean age was 52 years (22 to 69 years) and the median body mass index was 27.6. Cognitive function was assessed with the Color–Word Interference Test after Stroop and the Trail-Making Test A/B. Multiple linear regression models were calculated to assess the predictive value of C-reactive protein and the kynurenine/tryptophan ratio on cognitive function controlling for age, sex, education, premorbid verbal intelligence quotient, illness duration, depressive symptoms, and obesity-related parameters (e.g., body mass index, high-density lipoprotein). Our data confirm that in patients with psychiatric disorders, C-reactive protein serum concentration is a relevant and important predictor of Trail-Making Test B performance, measuring cognitive flexibility. The effect size of this association did not change much after adding clinical and metabolic variables into the regression model. The kynurenine/tryptophan ratio was not related to cognitive test scores. The involvement of C-reactive protein as a peripheral inflammatory marker in cognitive flexibility and psychomotor processing speed in psychiatric illness can be concluded. View Full-Text
Keywords: inflammation; C-reactive protein; obesity; cognition; psychomotor processing speed; cognitive flexibility; Trail-Making Test inflammation; C-reactive protein; obesity; cognition; psychomotor processing speed; cognitive flexibility; Trail-Making Test
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Dalkner, N.; Reininghaus, E.; Schwalsberger, K.; Rieger, A.; Hamm, C.; Pilz, R.; Lenger, M.; Queissner, R.; Falzberger, V.S.; Platzer, M.; Fellendorf, F.T.; Birner, A.; Bengesser, S.A.; Weiss, E.M.; McIntyre, R.S.; Mangge, H.; Reininghaus, B. C-Reactive Protein as a Possible Predictor of Trail-Making Performance in Individuals with Psychiatric Disorders. Nutrients 2020, 12, 3019.

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