Epidemiological studies strongly suggest an association between childhood maltreatment and psychosis, and that the cessation of traumatic experiences may reduce the incidence of psychosis by 33%. Recent investigations started to suggest inflammatory cytokine dysfunction in psychosis, and that childhood adversity may underlie this relationship. Despite of that, only two clinical studies have been published so far. Methodological improvements are needed to better understand the relationship between childhood adversity, psychosis and inflammation. We recruited a sizeable, epidemiologically based sample of 507 participants, composed by 166 first-episode psychosis patients, 76 siblings and 265 population-based controls. In an animal model of schizophrenia ((n=20/group), we analysed cytokines in the peripheral blood (plasma) and target brain areas (hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex). Our preliminary results points to cytokine deregulation in an animal model of schizophrenia. We herein propose to build up on our preliminary results by investigating cytokines abnormalities in the plasma of a sizeable clinical model, and whether different types of childhood adversities may underlie these inflammatory changes. We will include in the analysis the proposed cytokines (IL-6, TNF, IL-10), as well as four extra cytokines (IL-1², IL-4, INF-³, TGF-²) and the potential of moderating factors in the association between childhood trauma and adulthood inflammation. All the analysis will be done in partnership with experts from King's College London, U.K. We strongly believe that this collaboration will bring benefits to the analysis of our data. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first study to investigate the influence of different types of childhood maltreatment on the low-grade inflammatory profile of a large population-based sample of patients during the first manifestation of psychosis.
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