Cytokine model of cognition in relation to mental disorders during neurodevelopment

Celia Fourrier, Bernhard T. Baune

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cognitive dysfunctions are current across psychiatric disorders and negatively impair patients’ quality of life and normal daily functioning and reduce clinical recovery. It is therefore important to understand the biological mechanisms underlying these cognitive impairments in order to develop new therapeutic strategies targeting these symptoms. Previous findings provided evidence for a cytokine model of cognition, in which immune cells and inflammatory cytokines can regulate cognitive processes in both physiological conditions and psychiatric disorders. There is now mounting evidence that genetic markers and perinatal environmental stressors contribute to abnormal development of both the immune system and the central nervous system and increase vulnerability to psychiatric disorders. However, whether cognitive alterations in psychiatric patients may also be a consequence of immune system dysregulations during development remains unclear. Hence, we review in this chapter the current knowledge suggesting that cognitive function in adult psychiatric patients may be influenced by long-lasting effect of immune system alterations during neurodevelopment. A better understanding of the complex influence of the developing immune system on brain structure and function may therefore help in identifying vulnerable individuals and develop preventive and therapeutic strategies to reduce the detrimental impact of cognitive impairments on psychiatric patients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Perinatal Inflammation and Adult Psychopathology. Progress in Inflammation Research
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-39335-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-39334-2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

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