Severe affective and behavioral dysregulation in youths is associated with a proinflammatory state

Martin Holtmann, Luise Poustka, Florian D Zepf, Tobias Banaschewski, Josef Priller, Sven Bölte, Tanja Legenbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVE: A heritable behavioral phenotype, the so-called Dysregulation Profile (DP), characterized by extreme scores on the syndrome scales Anxious/Depressed (A/D), Attention Problems (AP), and Aggressive Behavior (AGG), has been identified on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). It characterizes children with severe affective and behavioral dysregulation. The present study examined possible alterations of the inflammatory system in CBCL-DP using a clinical sample of n = 133 children and adolescents.

METHOD: Participants with the CBCL-DP scoring ≥ 2.5 SDs above average constituted the CBCL-DP subgroup (n = 51). Those with CBCL-DP scores of 1 SD or less above average were regarded as controls (n = 82). Groups were compared in terms of serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin.

RESULTS: Participants showing the CBCL-DP exhibited increased CRP and decreased albumin levels compared to controls. CRP was correlated with AGG, AP, and the CBCL-DP total score. A negative correlation was observed between albumin and AGG, AP, the CBCL-DP score, and A/D. These associations could not be attributed to differences in age, sex, weight, socioeconomic status, global functioning, or duration of illness.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to demonstrate associations between the CBCL-DP and a proinflammatory state. Limitations include the lack of a healthy control group, the use of a single measurement of inflammatory markers, and the lack of follow-up data. Future research should address whether inflammatory diathesis in these children confers increased susceptibility to later development of cardiovascular disease and other medical morbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-9
Number of pages7
JournalZeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Issue number6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Nov 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Irritable Mood
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders
  • Phenotype
  • Reference Values
  • Serum Albumin
  • Journal Article


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