Abstract
TUMOUR NECROSIS FACTOR – ALPHA AND INTERLEUKIN – 6 IN PATIENTS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA IN ENUGU

Henry Chinagorom Ezihe*, Martin Ositadinma Ifeanyichukwu, Chinazom Lynda Ezihe, Jude Ndubuisi Onwuzulike, Franklin Chigozie Eguogwu, Chris Emeka Ugwuegbu and Aloysius Ikebunna Nwunewuihe

ABSTRACT

Schizophrenia is a chronic and debilitating disease with unclear aetiology, characterized by abnormal social behaviour, strange speech and failure to understand reality, affecting more than 21 million people worldwide. Some studies suggest that immune mechanisms play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Materials and Methods: In this study, IL-6 and TNF-α levels were evaluated in 30 patients with schizophrenia, before and after treatment and the results were compared with those of apparently healthy volunteers of comparable age and social status. Results: The levels of Interleukin – 6 and TNF-α values were significantly higher in Schizophrenic antipsychotic naïve subjects when compared with control subjects. After treatment with antipsychotics, IL-6 showed significantly lower values when compared with schizophrenic drug naive subjects. Tumour Necrosis Factor-α serum levels among schizophrenic treated subjects remained unchanged. It is evident from the study that Schizophrenia can induce the production of IL-6 and TNF-α thus, suggesting that schizophrenia has the tendency to switch the cytokine patterns toward the pro-inflammatory pattern.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, immune mechanisms, IL-6, TNF-?.


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