Autoimmune diseases

What are autoimmune diseases?

People with schizophrenia may show increased rates of co-occurring conditions. Autoimmune diseases are caused by an overactive immune system. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include; Celiac disease where the immune system reacts to gluten found in wheat and other grains; lupus, which affects skin, muscles, joints, lungs, heart and kidneys; rheumatoid arthritis, where bone and cartilage are damaged; Graves’ disease, where the thyroid gland is overactive; multiple sclerosis, where the nervous system is affected; type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels.

What is the evidence for autoimmune disease in people with schizophrenia?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds a small increased risk of non-neurological autoimmune disorders in people with schizophrenia, in particular anemia, celiac disease, Graves’ disease, pemphigoid, and psoriasis. Rates of schizophrenia were also increased in people with celiac disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis were reduced in people with schizophrenia, and there were no differences in rates of polymyalgia rheumatic, alopecia areata, Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, or ulcerative colitis.

June 2020

Last updated at: 11:50 pm, 23rd June 2020
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