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Malfunctioning immune system may cause schizophrenia, says study
11-08-17 Category: Schizophrenia

Malfunctioning immune system may cause schizophrenia, says study

Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia could actually be struggling with a malfunctioning immune system and immunotherapy might be the solution to alleviate their condition, says a medical investigation led by Professor Belinda Lennox, a clinical psychiatrist at the Oxford University.

Upon conducting trials, the study team discovered that one in 11 schizophrenia patients sectioned for psychosis could be victims of auto-immune conditions, where rogue antibodies had affected their brains. Further, the research team concluded that immunotherapy helped the individuals experience significant, if not complete, recovery from the ailment. The researchers conducted a blood sample analysis of 228 people with “first-episode” psychosis, out of which, 9 percent had antibodies pertinent to their condition.

Experts say in the case of problems like arthritis, antibodies bind to receptors in the brain, leaving an adverse impact on memory and causing hallucinations/delusions. Therefore, flushing out the antibodies of the patients’ blood and suppressing the immune system is the only way to cure them. Speaking about her efforts, Professor Lennox said that the latest findings could help eliminate the current stigma surrounding psychosis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), across the globe there are about 21 million people living with schizophrenia. Such individuals are often cut off from reality and lead delusional lives due to changes in some brain chemicals. As the condition deteriorates, it could result in chronic emotional and behavioral problems, leading to social isolation, motor disabilities, depression, dissociative disorders and attention deficit, among others.

Schizophrenia is serious mental health disorder

Schizophrenia leaves an adverse impact on one’s perception, thought, behavior and emotion. As the patient’s condition worsens, it could lead to severe emotional and behavioral problems, culminating in social isolation, dissociative disorders, attention deficit and ineffective coordination between various senses. Moreover, patients suffering from active schizophrenia are plagued by personality disorders and hallucinations, such as hearing voices and paranoid delusions.

According to experts, schizophrenia is the outcome of genetic, physical, environmental and psychological factors. However, in recent years, there have been instances where a stressful or traumatic event in one’s personal life had led to a psychotic episode. Various researches attribute the manifestation of schizophrenia-related symptoms to the imbalance in the levels of two neurotransmitters — dopamine and serotonin. Besides, drug abuse is also said to be a significant cause for the condition.

Studies show that babies born prematurely and with low weight are most likely to develop schizophrenia at a later stage. It is observed that schizophrenia usually manifests during early adulthood. Men may begin to show symptoms in their early twenties, while, women could exhibit signs of the condition even in their late twenties, extending to early thirties. However, experts say individuals with schizophrenia often begin showing subtle signs much earlier in life, such as poor motivation levels, bad performance in school and incompetence to socialize during their growing years.

Way forward

Schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition, in which afflicted individuals experience debilitating episodes where they fail to distinguish between real and unreal experiences of varying levels of severity and duration. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), schizophrenia is a severe brain disease that affects 1 percent people in the United States.

Though there is no cure for schizophrenia, the disorder can be treated with timely medical intervention. Sovereign Health of San Clemente offers a variety of customized schizophrenia treatment programs in California to identify the underlying causes of the condition and prescribe tailor-made therapies based on the patient’s requirements. Additionally, patients can also opt for alternative therapeutic activities to embark on the journey to wellness. If you or your loved one is battling schizophrenia or any other mental health problem, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives to avail our best residential treatment for schizophrenia in California.

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