• anti-inflammatory;
  • inflammation;
  • neuroplasticity;
  • prodrome;
  • schizophrenia

Aims:  In this paper, we review the literature on the efficacy of anti-inflammatory agents as neuroprotectors in clinical and preclinical stages of schizophrenia.

Method:  A synthetic and integrative approach was applied to review studies stemming from epidemiology, phenomenology, cognition, genetics and neuroimaging data. We provide conclusions and future directions of research on early-onset schizophrenia.

Results:  Abnormal inflammatory activation has been demonstrated in schizophrenia. Increases or imbalances in cytokines before birth or during childhood may impact neurodevelopment and produce vulnerability to schizophrenia. The specificity of inflammatory abnormalities in psychiatric disorders is controversial. Similar increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines have been described in other disorders, especially mood and anxiety disorders. One of the most important challenges at this point is the understanding of neurobiological correlates of prodromal stages of schizophrenia.

Conclusion:  Although future research should investigate the exact role of different cytokines in pathophysiology of schizophrenia, these mediators emerge as promising molecular targets to its prevention and treatment.