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Dysregulation of chemo-cytokine production in schizophrenic patients versus healthy controls

Marcella Reale*, Antonia Patruno, Maria A De Lutiis, Mirko Pesce, Mario Felaco, Massimo Di Giannantonio, Marta Di Nicola and Alfredo Grilli

BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:13  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-13

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Queries re: sample and interpretation of findings

Belinda Lennox   (2011-05-31 14:29)  University of Cambridge email

I was fascinated to read your study that seems to show a very robust difference in levels of cytokines in unmedicated first episode patients with schizophrenia. I have 2 queries, relating to the subjects tested, and the measures of inflammation.

Firstly, can you clarify for me the nature of the patients that you studied and how the patients were recruited and from what setting? What was the length of untreated illness in the patients and were they never medicated, or just unmedicated at the time of testing? Only 10 of the 51 patients were subsequently treated with antipsychotics, which would suggest to me that they were not acutely unwell. They do not seem like a typical cohort of first episode psychosis patients in my experience. The diagnosis at first presentation of psychosis is unreliable, with a later diagnosis of schizophrenia in only a proportion of cases. I would therefore be interested in any further details of the patients, to support the diagnoses given.

Secondly, CRP and ESR were measured for all subjects, but the results are not given. I wonder if they were also raised, in keeping with the other cytokines measured. Could the authors comment on these.

Thank you.

Competing interests

no competing interests


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