Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibodies To Strep Throat Bacteria Linked To Obsessive Compulsive Disorder In Mice

Date:
August 13, 2009
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
A new study indicates that pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome and/or tic disorder may develop from an inappropriate immune response to the bacteria causing common throat infections. The mouse model findings support the view that this condition is a distinct disorder, and represent a key advance in tracing the path leading from an ordinary infection in childhood to the surfacing of a psychiatric syndrome.

A new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health's Center for Infection and Immunity indicates that pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome and/or tic disorder may develop from an inappropriate immune response to the bacteria causing common throat infections.

The mouse model findings, published online by Nature Publishing Group in this week's Molecular Psychiatry, support the view that this condition is a distinct disorder, and represent a key advance in tracing the path leading from an ordinary infection in childhood to the surfacing of a psychiatric syndrome. The research provides new insights into identifying children at risk for autoimmune brain disorders and suggests potential avenues for treatment.

OCD and tic disorders affect a significant portion of the population. More than 25% of adults and over 3% of children manifest some features of these disorders. Until now, scientists have been unable to convincingly document the association between the appearance of antibodies directed against Group A beta-hemolytic streptoccoccus (GABHS) in peripheral blood and the onset of the behavioral and motor aspects of the disorder. As a result, treatment strategies were restricted to targeting symptoms rather than causes.

Strep throat bacteria, or GABHS, are known to cause autoimmune disorders such as Sydenham chorea, with symptoms such as fever and uncontrolled tics of the face or extremities in susceptible individuals, prompting some scientists to suspect that GABHS could play a role in a syndrome known as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS), a rapid-onset and episodic form of OCD and tic disorders observed in some children. The latest study by CII researchers supports the hypothesis that some neuropsychiatric syndromes may be triggered by direct action of GABHS-associated antibodies on the brain. Whether environmental factors other than GABHS can lead to similar effects is as yet unknown.

Using a mouse model of PANDAS, Mady Hornig, MD, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and colleagues demonstrate this suspected link between GABHS antibodies and the psychiatric symptoms of the disorder. Immunizing mice with an inactivated form of the bacteria, CII researchers found that the mice exhibited repetitive behaviors reminiscent of children with PANDAS. Injection of antibodies from the immunized mice into the bloodstream of non-immunized mice replicated these behaviors.

"These findings illustrate that antibodies alone are sufficient to trigger this behavioral syndrome," said Dr. Hornig. "Our findings in this animal model support and may explain results of Swedo and colleagues in treating children with PANDAS using plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). They may also have implications for understanding, preventing or treating other disorders potentially linked to autoimmunity, including autism spectrum, mood, attentional, learning, and eating disorders."

"This work provides strong corroboration for a link between exposure to infection, development of an autoimmune response, and the onset of repetitive behaviors and deficits in attention, learning, and social interaction," says CII Director W. Ian Lipkin, MD, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, and professor of Neurology and Pathology at Columbia University. "Further investigations in this strep-triggered, autoimmune mouse model of PANDAS will promote the discovery of more effective interventions for these disabling disorders and guide the development of robust prevention strategies."

Dr. Susan Swedo, a senior investigator at NIMH who has been a leader in research into PANDAS, provides commentary on the work in this issue of Molecular Psychiatry, where the authors' work is also featured on the journal's cover.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Antibodies To Strep Throat Bacteria Linked To Obsessive Compulsive Disorder In Mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811143538.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2009, August 13). Antibodies To Strep Throat Bacteria Linked To Obsessive Compulsive Disorder In Mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811143538.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Antibodies To Strep Throat Bacteria Linked To Obsessive Compulsive Disorder In Mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811143538.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins