Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Early Onset First Episode Psychosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2017 Jun 1;20(6):435-444. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyx015.


Background: People with schizophrenia and other psychosis show increased proinflammatory and prooxidative status. However, the few studies that have specifically assessed oxidative and inflammatory markers in early onset psychosis (onset before age 18) have shown contradictory results.

Methods: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines for systematic reviews and meta-analyses were used to conduct a systematic literature search to detect studies comparing inflammatory and oxidative markers in early onset psychosis patients and healthy controls.

Results: Seven studies met criteria for the qualitative analysis. Four studies met criteria for meta-analysis, comprising an overall sample of 261 early onset psychosis patients and 246 healthy controls. Six independent meta-analyses were performed for catalase, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, total antioxidant status, and cell/DNA oxidative damage. No significant differences were found between early onset psychosis patients and controls in any of the parameters assessed. Heterogeneity among studies was high. Qualitative analysis of individual studies showed an association of inflammatory and oxidative markers with clinical, cognitive, and neurobiological outcomes, especially in longitudinal assessments.

Conclusions: Despite the lack of significant differences between early onset psychosis patients and controls in the oxidative markers assessed in the meta-analyses, results based on individual studies suggest that greater inflammation and oxidative stress might lead to poorer outcomes in patients with first episodes of early onset psychosis.

Keywords: biomarker; early onset psychosis; inflammatory; meta-analysis; schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / metabolism*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism*