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Neuroinflammation and cognition across psychiatric conditions

  • Célia Fourrier (a1), Gaurav Singhal (a1) and Bernhard T. Baune (a2)


Cognitive impairments reported across psychiatric conditions (ie, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and posttraumatic stress disorder) strongly impair the quality of life of patients and the recovery of those conditions. There is therefore a great need for consideration for cognitive dysfunction in the management of psychiatric disorders. The redundant pattern of cognitive impairments across such conditions suggests possible shared mechanisms potentially leading to their development. Here, we review for the first time the possible role of inflammation in cognitive dysfunctions across psychiatric disorders. Raised inflammatory processes (microglia activation and elevated cytokine levels) across diagnoses could therefore disrupt neurobiological mechanisms regulating cognition, including Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity, neurogenesis, neurotrophic factor, the HPA axis, and the kynurenine pathway. This redundant association between elevated inflammation and cognitive alterations across psychiatric disorders hence suggests that a cross-disorder approach using pharmacological and nonpharmacological (ie, physical activity and nutrition) anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory strategies should be considered in the management of cognition in psychiatry.

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Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Prof. Bernhard T. Baune, MD, PhD, FRANZCP, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Münster, University of Münster, Münster, Germany (Email:


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This study is financially supported by a generous research donation of the Fay Fuller Foundation, Adelaide. The funders had no role in preparation of the manuscript or decision to publish.



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CNS Spectrums
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  • EISSN: 2165-6509
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