Plasma inflammatory factors are associated with anxiety, depression, and cognitive problems in adults with and without methamphetamine dependence: An exploratory protein array study

Marilyn Huckans, Bret E. Fuller, Alison L N Chalker, Madeleine Adams, Jennifer Loftis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: It is hypothesized that immune factors influence addictive behaviors and contribute to relapse. The primary study objectives were to (1) compare neuropsychiatric symptoms across adults with active methamphetamine (MA) dependence, in early remission from MA dependence, and with no history of substance dependence, (2) determine whether active or recent MA dependence affects the expression of immune factors, and (3) evaluate the association between immune factor levels and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using between group comparisons and regression analyses to investigate associations among variables. Eighty-four adults were recruited into control (CTL) (n = 31), MA-active (n = 17), or MA-remission (n = 36) groups. Participants completed self-report measures of anxiety, depression, and memory complaints and objective tests of attention and executive function. Blood samples were collected, and a panel of immune factors was measured using multiplex technology. Results: Relative to CTLs, MA-dependent adults evidenced greater anxiety and depression during active use (p <0.001) and remission (p <0.007), and more attention, memory, and executive problems during remission (p <0.01) but not active dependence. Regression analyses identified 10 immune factors (putatively associated with cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions) associated with anxiety, depression, and memory problems. Conclusion: While psychiatric symptoms are present during active MA dependence and remission, at least some cognitive difficulties emerge only during remission. Altered expression of a network of immune factors contributes to neuropsychiatric symptom severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number178
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Issue numberDEC
StatePublished - 2015



  • Anxiety
  • Biological markers
  • Cognition
  • Cytokines
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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