Hyper/neuroinflammation in COVID-19 and suicide etiopathogenesis: Hypothesis for a nefarious collision?

A. Costanza, A. Amerio, A. Aguglia, G. Serafini, M. Amore, R. Hasler, J. Ambrosetti, G. Bondolfi, G. Sampogna, I. Berardelli, A. Fiorillo, M. Pompili, K. D. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Accumulating scientific and clinical evidence highlighted pathological hyperinflammation as a cardinal feature of SARS-CoV-2 infection and acute COVID-19 disease. With the emergence of long COVID-19 syndrome, several chronic health consequences, including neuropsychiatric sequelae, have gained attention from the public and medical communities. Since inflammatory mediators have also been accredited as putative biomarkers of suicidal ideations and behaviors, hyper- and neuroinflammation might share some colliding points, overlapping and being interconnected in the context of COVID-19. This review aims to provide a summary of current knowledge on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of COVID-19-associated hyper/neuroinflammation with focus on their relevance to the inflammatory hypothesis of suicide development. Subsequently, strategies to alleviate COVID-19 hyper/neuroinflammation by immunomodulatory agents (many of which at experimental stages) as well as psychopharmacologic/psychotherapeutic approaches are also mentioned. While suicide risk in COVID-19 survivors - until now little known - needs further analysis through longitudinal studies, current observations and mechanistic postulates warrant additional attention to this possibly emerging mental health concern.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104606
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 survivors
  • Cytokines
  • Hyperinflammation, neuroinflammation
  • Inflammatory peripheral cells, neural cells
  • Long COVID-19 syndrome
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Systemic inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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