4 September 2017
In recent years, evidence supporting a link between inflammation and neuropsychiatric disorders has been mounting. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia share some clinical similarities which we hypothesize might reflect the same biological basis, namely, in terms of inflammation. However, the diagnosis of ASD and schizophrenia relies solely on clinical symptoms, and to date, there is no clinically useful biomarker to diagnose or monitor the course of such illnesses.
The focus of this review is the central role that inflammation plays in ASD and schizophrenia. It spans from pre-clinical animal models to clinical research and excludes in vitro studies. Four major areas are covered: (1) microglia, the inflammatory brain resident myeloid cells, (2) biomarkers, including circulating cytokines, oxidative stress markers, and microRNA players, known to influence cellular processes at brain and immune levels, (3) effect of anti-psychotics on biomarkers and other predictors of response, and (4) impact of gender on response to immune activation, biomarkers, and response to anti-psychotic treatments.