Inflammation in patients with schizophrenia: The therapeutic benefits of risperidone plus add-on dextromethorphan

Shiou Lan Chen, Sheng Yu Lee, Yun Hsuan Chang, Shih Heng Chen, Chun Hsieh Chu, Nian Sheng Tzeng, I. Hui Lee, Po See Chen, Tzung Lieh Yeh, San Yuan Huang, Yen Kuang Yang, Ru Band Lu

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing evidence suggests that inflammation contributes to the etiology and progression of schizophrenia. Molecules that initiate inflammation, such as virus- and toxin-induced cytokines, are implicated in neuronal degeneration and schizophrenia-like behavior. Using therapeutic agents with anti-inflammatory or neurotrophic effects may be beneficial for treating schizophrenia. One hundred healthy controls and 95 Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia were tested in this double-blind study. Their PANSS scores, plasma interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels were measured before and after pharmacological treatment. Pretreatment, plasma levels of IL-1β and TNF-α were significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia than in controls, but plasma BDNF levels were significantly lower. Patients were treated with the atypical antipsychotic risperidone (Risp) only or with Risp+ dextromethorphan (DM). PANSS scores and plasma IL-1β levels significantly decreased, but plasma TNF-α and BDNF levels significantly increased after 11 weeks of Risp treatment. Patients in the Risp+ DM group showed a greater and earlier reduction of symptoms than did those in the Risp-only group. Moreover, Risp+ DM treatment attenuated Risp-induced plasma increases in TNF-α. Patients with schizophrenia had a high level of peripheral inflammation and a low level of peripheral BDNF. Long-term Risp treatment attenuated inflammation and potentiated the neurotrophic function but also produced a certain degree of toxicity. Risp+ DM was more beneficial and less toxic than Risp-only treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-664
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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