Understanding the Impact of Inflammation on the Brain: Transdiagnostic Implications
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Expires on Jul 08, 2026
Credit Offered
1 CME Credit
1 NCPD Credit
1 COP Credit

There is growing interest in the role of inflammation in psychiatric disorders. Trials of anti-inflammatory treatments have yielded mixed results at best. Growing research implicates inflammatory cytokines as not only being increased in patients with severe mental illness, but suggest that they directly impact specific areas and circuits within the brain. More specifically, inflammation appears to be associated with alterations in signaling from circuits involving the basal ganglia and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Decreased connectivity in these circuits is associated with specific symptoms, namely anhedonia and psychomotor slowing, which are known to be present in many psychiatric illnesses. Moreover, increasing data implicates interactions between inflammation and metabolic disturbances on these circuits and subsequent symptoms This poses important opportunities for the field to consider novel mechanisms and treatments that may target both inflammatory and/or metabolic pathways.


Recorded webinar, non-interactive, self-paced distance learning activity with post-test.

This presentation was recorded on April 23, 2021.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how inflammation impacts the brain and the mechanism by which it is associated with symptoms such as anhedonia and psychomotor slowing.
  • Discuss how understanding the impact of inflammation on the brain may lead to novel approaches to treatment.
  • Summarize challenges in the current anti-inflammatory literature and how better studies may be designed to address these limitations.

Target Audience

Psychiatrist, Physician (non-psychiatrist), Nurse/Nurse Practitioner

Instructional Level

Introductory, Intermediate

Estimate Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour
Program Start Date: July 8, 2023
Program End Date: July 8, 2026

Ongoing Interdisciplinary Discussion Board

If there are any topics covered in this webinar that you would like to discuss with colleagues in the mental health field, post a question or comment on SMI Adviser’s Webinar Roundtable Topics discussion board (https://smiadviser.org/discussion).This is an easy way to network and share ideas with other clinicians who participate in this webinar.

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, nursing continuing professional development contact hours (NCPD, formerly CNE), or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course, including viewing the full video and submitting an evaluation. A multiple-choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 75% must be achieved. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians), NCPD (nurses), or certificate of participation (other disciplines) showing the completion date and hours/credits earned.

Continuing Education Credit


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses/Nurse Practitioners

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

All financial relationships relevant to this activity have been mitigated.


  • David Goldsmith, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist who focuses on the treatment of psychotic disorders and studies the role of the immune system in persistent symptoms of schizophrenia. More specifically, he is interested in how inflammation targets the brain, leading to motivational deficits and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. He is the co-director of the PSTAR (Persistent Symptoms: Treatment, Assessment, and Recovery) Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital, which focuses on the treatment of individuals with psychosis, with a specific emphasis on using clozapine and other pharmacologic/psychosocial interventions for persistent symptoms. In addition to his work in the PSTAR Clinic, Dr. Goldsmith is on the faculty of the Emory Behavioral Immunology Program and is the Associate Program Director for the Emory Psychiatry Residency Research Track. Dr. Goldsmith reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.


  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Tristan Gorrindo, MD, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN, University of Texas at Austin. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.  


  • Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN, University of Texas at Austin. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. (Reviewed on 6/4/2023)

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

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  • Internet Explorer 11+

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Optimal System Configuration:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version)
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  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

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  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

For assistance: Contact educme@psych.org for questions about this activity | Contact SMIadviserhelp@psych.org for technical assistance

Funding for SMI Adviser was made possible by Grant No. SM080818 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the U.S. Government.
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