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Thursday, December 08, 2016

psychiatric immune disorder

Is psychosis an ‘immune disorder’?

by vaughanbell
A fascinating new study has just been published which found evidence for the immune system attacking a neuroreceptor in the brain in a small proportion of people with psychosis. It's an interesting study that probably reflects what's going to be a cultural tipping point for the idea of 'immune system mental health problems' or 'madness as inflammation disorder' but it's worth being a little wary of the coming hype.
This new study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, did blood tests on people who presented with their first episode of psychosis and looked for antibodies that attack specific receptors in the brain. Receptors are what receive neurotransmitters - the brain's chemical signals - and allow information to be transferred around the nervous system, so disruption to these can cause brain disturbances.
The most scientifically interesting finding is that the research team found a type of antibody that attacks NMDA receptors in 7 patients (3%) out of 228, but zero controls./.../

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