Accumulating evidence has implicated insulin resistance and inflammation in the pathophysiology of cognitive impairments associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. This post-hoc analysis based on a placebo-controlled trial investigated the effect of inflammation (indexed by CRP) and metabolic risk factors on cognitive performance in patients with schizophrenia treated with lurasidone.
Acutely exacerbated patients with schizophrenia were randomized to lurasidone (80 or 160 mg/day), quetiapine XR 600 mg/day, or placebo. A wide range CRP test and a cognitive assessment using the CogState computerized battery were performed at baseline and week 6 study endpoint. Associations between log-transformed CRP, high density lipoprotein (HDL), homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and treatment response were evaluated.
CRP combined with HDL, triglyceride-to-HDL (TG/HDL) ratio, or HOMA-IR at study baseline were significant moderators of the improvement in cognitive performance associated with lurasidone 160 mg/day (vs. placebo) treatment (p < .05). Greater placebo-corrected treatment effect size on the CogState composite score was observed for patients in the lurasidone 160 mg/day treatment group who had either low CRP and high HDL (d = 0.43), or low CRP and low HOMA-IR (d = 0.46). Interactive relationships between CRP, HDL, TG/HDL, HOMA-IR and the antipsychotic efficacy of lurasidone or quetiapine XR were not significant. There were no significant associations between antipsychotic treatment and changes in CRP level at study endpoint.
Findings of this post-hoc analysis based on a placebo-controlled trial in patients with schizophrenia suggest that baseline CRP level combined with measures of metabolic risk significantly moderated the improvement in cognitive performance associated with lurasidone 160 mg/day (vs. placebo) treatment. Our findings underscore the importance of maintaining a low metabolic risk profile in patients with schizophrenia.