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Associations between C-reactive protein levels and cognition during the first 6 months after acute psychosis

  • Farivar Fathian (a1), Else-Marie Løberg (a2) (a3) (a4), Rolf Gjestad (a4), Vidar M. Steen (a5) (a6), Rune A. Kroken (a4) (a7), Hugo A. Jørgensen (a7) and Erik Johnsen (a4) (a7)...

Inverse relationships between the C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and cognitive performance in acute psychosis have been demonstrated. We aimed to investigate how the serum level and initial change of CRP in acutely admitted patients with psychosis was correlated with cognitive performance during a 6-months follow-up period.


The study is part of a pragmatic, randomised trial comparing four different second-generation antipsychotic drugs, and consists of 208 acute phase patients recruited at admittance for psychosis. This study reports data for all groups collectively, and does not compare treatment groups. Measurements of CRP and cognitive performance were conducted at baseline (T1) and after 4 weeks on average after inclusion (T2). Cognition was also assessed after 3 months (T3) and 6 months (T4) of follow-up.


Global cognition improved during the follow-up period of 6 months, especially in the T1–T2 interval. The different cognitive subdomains showed different time-dependent profiles of improvement, with memory and attention improving significantly also in the later phases. Reduction of the CRP level during the initial follow-up interval (T1–T2) was associated with increased overall cognitive performance in the T2–T4 interval, but not in the T1–T2 interval. For the cognitive subdomains, we found an inverse association between change in CRP level and verbal abilities (T2–T4 interval), and attention (T2–T3 interval).


These findings indicate that initial changes in the serum level of CRP in the acute phase of psychosis may predict cognitive function in later phases of the disease.

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Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Farivar Fathian, NKS Olaviken Gerontopsychiatric Hospital, Ulriksdal 8, 5009 Bergen, Norway. Tel: +47 98 41 09 75; Fax: +47 55 38 18 81; E-mail:
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