Sleep and inflammatory markers in different psychiatric disorders

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2017 Feb;124(Suppl 1):179-186. doi: 10.1007/s00702-015-1492-3. Epub 2015 Dec 9.


Many psychiatric disorders, like schizophrenia, affective disorders, addictions and different forms of dementia are associated with sleep disturbances. In the etiology and course of those diseases inflammatory processes are regarded to be an increasingly important factor. They are also a frequently discussed element of the pathology of sleep. In this literature review reports on correlations between poor sleep and inflammatory responses in various psychiatric conditions are discussed. The link between schizophrenia, affective disorders and inflammatory cytokines is a complex phenomenon, which has been already confirmed in a number of studies. However, the presence of sleep deficits in those conditions, being a common symptom of depression and psychoses, can be an additional factor having a considerable impact on the immunological processes in mental illnesses. In the analyzed data, a number of studies are presented describing the role of inflammatory markers in sleep disturbances and psychopathological symptoms of affective, psychotic, neurogenerative and other disorders. Also attention is drawn to possible implications for their treatment. Efforts to use, e.g., anti-inflammatory agents in psychiatry in the context of their impact on sleep are reported. The aspect of inflammatory markers in the role of sleep deprivation as the treatment method in major depressive disorder is also discussed. A general conclusion is drawn that the improvement of sleep quality plays a crucial role in the care for psychiatric patients.

Keywords: Inflammatory markers; Psychiatric disorders; Sleep.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / immunology*
  • Sleep / immunology*