Background: Schizophrenia is a complex illness in which genetic, environmental, and
epigenetic components have been implicated. However, recently, psychiatric disorders appear to be
related to a chronic inflammatory state, at the level of specific cerebral areas which have been found
as well impaired and responsible for schizophrenia symptomatology. Hence, a role of inflammatory
mediators and cytokines has been as well defined. Accordingly, the role of an acute inflammatory
phase protein, the C-reactive protein (CRP) has been recently investigated.
Objective: The objective of the present study is to evaluate how PCR may represent a biomarker in
schizophrenia, i.e. correlated with illness phases and/or clinical manifestation and/or psychopathological
Methods: A systematic review was here carried out by searching the following keywords ((C-reactive
protein AND ((schizophrenia) OR (psychotic disorder))) for the topics ‘PCR' and ‘Schizophrenia',
by using MESH terms.
Results: An immune dysfunction and inflammation have been described amongst schizophrenic
patients. Findings reported elevated CRP levels in schizophrenia, mainly correlated with the severity
of illness and during the recrudescent phase. CRP levels are higher when catatonic features,
negative symptomatology and aggressiveness are associated. CRP levels appeared not to be related
to suicidal behaviour and ideation.
Conclusion: CRP and its blood levels have been reported higher amongst schizophrenic patients,
by suggesting a role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Further studies are
needed to better understand if CRP may be considered a biomarker in schizophrenia.