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Topics tagged with "Schizophrenia and infections"

Infectious agents

How are infectious agents related to schizophrenia? This topic summarises the available evidence on markers of earlier infection (antibodies) in adults with schizophrenia. The Herpesviridae are a family of viruses which cause latent, recurring, and sometimes lifelong infections. These include Herpes simplex virus (HHV1 & 2) which causes oral and/or genital herpes; the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV,HHV3) which causes chicken pox, shingles and rarely, encephalitis; the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV, HHV4) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV, HHV5) which cause neurological complications; and the Herpes lymphotropic virus (HHV6), which causes roseola (skin rash and fever). Borna Disease Virus (BDV) is the key causative component…


How are how are anti-inflammatory medications used for schizophrenia?  Growing evidence suggests that inflammatory processes may contribute to the development of schizophrenia. This suggests a potential role for anti-inflammatory medications, such as non-steroidal agents (e.g., aspirin) which may be potentially useful therapeutic strategies, particularly in combination with ongoing antipsychotic medication. What is the evidence for anti-inflammatory medications? Compared to placebo, moderate to high quality evidence finds a large benefit of adjunctive N-acetylcysteine, and medium-sized benefits of adjunctive oestrogen and minocycline for improving overall symptoms. There was also a small benefit of adjunctive aspirin for symptom improvement. Moderate quality evidence finds…

Infectious agents

How are infectious agents relevant to schizophrenia? Exposure to infection in utero is often cited as a risk factor for schizophrenia. Much focus is given to the influenza virus, despite studies yielding inconsistent findings. This topic summarises the available evidence for the risk of developing schizophrenia following exposure to influenza and other infectious agents, both before and after birth. The physiological mechanisms of any association of these infectious agents with schizophrenia are largely unclear. Also see the topic in Physical Features on markers for infectious agents in adults with schizophrenia. What is the evidence for infectious agents as risk factors…

Maternal illness during pregnancy

How is maternal illness during pregnancy relevant to people with schizophrenia? Maternal illness during pregnancy with diabetes, toxoplasma gondii, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and other microbes have been associated with brain and behavioural abnormalities in the offspring, and so have been investigated as possible risk factors for schizophrenia. What is the evidence for exposure to maternal illness during pregnancy as a risk factor for schizophrenia? High quality evidence finds a small effect of increased risk of schizophrenia in the offspring of women with increased c-reactive protein levels during pregnancy. Moderate to high quality evidence suggests small effects of increased…

Inflammation and the immune system

What are inflammatory and immunological changes? Inflammation is caused by the immune system’s response to pathogens or tissue damage. Key cells in the innate (immediate) immune response are known as cytokines, including interleukins (IL), interferons (IFN), tumor necrosis factors (TNF), transforming growth factors (TGF), and chemokines. C-reactive proteins, autoantibodies, and lymphocytes are also involved in the immune system response. What is the evidence for inflammatory and immunological changes? For cytokines levels in serum or plasma, moderate to high quality evidence found a large increase in IL-1β, a large decrease in IFN-γ, medium-sized increases in MCP-1, eotaxin-1, and IL-8, and small…

Infectious diseases

How are infectious diseases related to schizophrenia? Infectious diseases include the human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), and hepatitis viruses, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Schizophrenia is associated with an increased risk of these infectious diseases when compared to the general population. What is the evidence on infectious diseases in people with schizophrenia? Moderate to low quality evidence finds medium-sized increased rates of hepatitis B and C in people with schizophrenia compared to people without schizophrenia. Moderate quality evidence finds the prevalence rate of HIV in people with any severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, is around 8%. For hepatitis…

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Title Colour Legend:
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Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.