Antipsychotics and inflammation – the InflamAP Study
The Antipsychotics and Inflammation Study (InflammAP study) is funded through the National Children’s Research Centre Clinical Research Fellowship. Dr. Karen Conlan is investigating the reasons why antipsychotic drugs that are used to treat various mental health disorders are associated with weight gain and obesity.
Currently, it is not possible for doctors to predict which patients will develop these side effects of weight gain from antipsychotic medication. However, previous research has suggested that weight gain is caused by the development of a persistent low-grade inflammatory state.
In this study, we have partnered with experts in obesity and inflammation (Dr. Andy Hogan; Maynooth University and Prof. Donal O’Shea, UCD) to study markers of inflammation in children with mental health disorders before and after the start of treatment with antipsychotic medications.
To do this we are recruiting children and adolescents who are commencing treatment with second generation antipsychotic medications. We do a general physical examination including height and weight and take blood samples to measure levels of inflammatory markers. We will then meet with participants after 3 months, 6 months and one year to see if there are any side effects and to repeat our measurements. We also take more blood samples to see if there are any changes in inflammatory markers. This will hopefully help to determine the factors that are most predictive of weight gain during treatment. This could lead to better guidelines for doctors and patients to reduce their risks of significant weight gain during treatment. If we can understand how these drugs cause weight gain, then we can possibly implement strategies to prevent it from occurring.
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