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Early life Adversity, functional connectivity and cognitive performance in Schizophrenia: The mediating role of IL-6

King, Sinead, Holleran, Laurena, Mothersill, David, Patlola, Saahithh, Rokita, Karolina, McManus, Ross, Kenyon, Marcus, McDonald, Colm, Hallahan, Brian, Corvin, Aiden, Morris, Derek, Kelly, John, McKernan, Declan and Donohoe, Gary (2021) Early life Adversity, functional connectivity and cognitive performance in Schizophrenia: The mediating role of IL-6. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 98. pp. 388-396. ISSN 0889-1591

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Exposure to childhood trauma (CT) is associated with cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, and deficits in social cognition in particular. Here, we sought to test whether IL-6 mediated the association between CT and social cognition both directly, and sequentially via altered default mode network (DMN) connectivity.

Three-hundred-and-eleven participants (104 patients and 207 healthy participants) were included, with MRI data acquired in a subset of n = 147. CT was measured using the childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ). IL-6 was measured in both plasma and in toll like receptor (TLR) stimulated whole blood. The CANTAB emotion recognition task (ERT) was administered to assess social cognition, and cortical connectivity was assessed based on resting DMN connectivity.

Higher IL-6 levels, measured both in plasma and in toll-like receptor (TLR-2) stimulated blood, were significantly correlated with higher CTQ scores and lower cognitive and social cognitive function. Plasma IL-6 was further observed to partly mediate the association between higher CT scores and lower emotion recognition performance (CTQ total: βindirect −0.0234, 95% CI: −0.0573 to −0.0074; CTQ physical neglect: βindirect = −0.0316, 95% CI: −0.0741 to −0.0049). Finally, sequential mediation was observed between plasma IL-6 levels and DMN connectivity in mediating the effects of higher CTQ on lower social cognitive function (βindirect = −0.0618, 95% CI: −0.1523 to −0.285).

This work suggests that previous associations between CT and social cognition may be partly mediated via an increased inflammatory response. IL-6′s association with changes in DMN activity further suggest at least one cortical network via which CT related effects on cognition may be transmitted.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > Children > Child Development
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognition
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2021 14:09
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2021 15:10

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