Navigation Links
Toxoplasma infection increases risk of schizophrenia, study suggests
Date:1/16/2008

Findings from what is believed to be the largest comparison of blood samples collected from healthy individuals and people with schizophrenia suggest that infection with the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite, carried by cats and farm animals, may increase the risk of schizophrenia.

A report on the study, conducted among U.S. military personnel by researchers from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Johns Hopkins Childrens Center appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Researchers found that of the 180 study subjects diagnosed with schizophrenia, 7 percent had been infected with toxoplasma prior to their diagnosis, compared to 5 percent among the 532 healthy recruits. Thus, people exposed to toxoplasma had a 24 percent higher risk of developing schizophrenia. The difference, while seemingly small, is important, researchers say, because the ability to explain even a small portion of the 2 million cases of schizophrenia in the United States may offer clues to the disease and some possible treatments.

For example, the investigators say they plan to study whether aggressive treatment of toxoplasma infection with antiparasitic drugs in patients with schizophrenia could halt the progression of the mental disorder, characterized by paranoia, delusions and hallucinations.

Most infections with toxoplasma occur early in life following exposure to the parasite in cat feces or undercooked beef or pork. Infections rarely cause symptoms, but the parasite remains in the body and can reactivate after lying dormant for years.

Our findings reveal the strongest association weve seen yet between infection with this very common parasite and the subsequent development of schizophrenia, says Robert Yolken, M. D., a neurovirologist at Hopkins Childrens who was among those conducting the analysis.

Previous studies have reported on the link between schizophrenia and the presence of toxoplasma antibodies, which are evidence of past infection, but this is the first study to show that infection with the parasite can precede the initial onset of symptoms and subsequent diagnosis with schizophrenia, Yolken says.

Because the U.S. military routinely tests its active personnel for toxoplasma, among other infectious agents, and stores blood samples in a central repository, researchers were able to determine the time line between infection and a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Until now, the only thing we could say is that some people with schizophrenia also had been infected with toxoplasma at some point, but we couldnt tease out which came first, Yolken says. With our current study, we were able to show that infection came first.

While most people infected with toxoplasma never develop schizophrenia, the parasite may be a trigger in those genetically predisposed to the disorder, a classic example of how genes and environment come together in the development of disease, Yolken says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Katerina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-516-4996
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. HPV vaccine does not appear to be effective for treating pre-existing HPV infection
2. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
3. Computers help chemists fight emerging infections
4. Infection contributes to the high rates of oropharyngeal cancers
5. Jefferson immunology researchers halt lethal rabies infection in brain
6. SIV infection of natural hosts provides new insights into HIV disease complexity
7. Novel virus detection identifies new viruses in study of respiratory infections and asthma attacks
8. Natural aorta grafts have few side effects for infection-prone patients
9. Common misdiagnosis: most women believe they have a yeast infection when they dont
10. Patient Safety Authority Board of Directors Names Infection Advisory Panel
11. FDA Approves LEVAQUIN(R) Short-Course Therapy for Treatment of Complicated Urinary Tract Infections and Acute Pyelonephritis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 25, 2017 , ... The February 13, 2017, assassination of Kim Jong-nam, ... nerve agents and the deadly use of chemical weapons. Many questions exist about the ... small doses can be lethal. , Jay Jagannathan, M.D., of Michigan-based Jagannathan Neurosurgical Institute, ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... San Mateo, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 26, 2017 , ... ... Bay Area cities as diverse as Millbrae, Belmont, and Palo Alto, is proud to ... San Mateo. Many Bay Area consumers look for home care close to home, and ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... Overland Park, KS (PRWEB) , ... ... ... launch of StaffBridge sets a new technology standard in staffing, scheduling, and ... to manage, monitor, and predict activity throughout the entire staffing process. StaffBridge ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... ... (PD) in persons with a specific LRRK2 mutation, according to a study released ... studies have provided evidence of a link between pesticides and incidence of sporadic ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... tooth replacement options at his office, Antoine Dental Center. Currently, patients can get ... Some restrictions may apply, but patients can learn more about these offers by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 Medical information groups within the ... self-service capabilities to manage inquiries from external stakeholders ... New research from consulting leader Best Practices, LLC ... website portals where HCPs can sign on and ... many findings to emerge from the new study ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... -- Report analyzes the worldwide markets for Endodontic Supplies in ... US, Canada , Japan ... , Latin America , and Rest of ... 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic analysis is provided ... primary and secondary research. Company profiles are primarily based on ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... -- Directors from Pharma To Market Pty Ltd and Ador Consulting Pte ... the founding of Pharma To Market Pte Ltd, based in ... to announce their expansion into Asia with ... The company are delighted to appoint Joelle Chia , former ... based entity. Joelle brings with her an extensive business ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: