Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune system activated in schizophrenia

Date:
November 18, 2009
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Patients with recent-onset schizophrenia have higher levels of inflammatory substances in their brains, according to new research. This findings offer hope of being able to treat schizophrenia with drugs that affect the immune system.

Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have discovered that patients with recent-onset schizophrenia have higher levels of inflammatory substances in their brains. Their findings offer hope of being able to treat schizophrenia with drugs that affect the immune system.

The causes of schizophrenia are largely unknown, and this hinders the development of effective treatments. One theory is that infections caught early on in life might increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, but to date any direct evidence of this has not been forthcoming.

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now been able to analyse inflammatory substances in the spinal fluid of patients with schizophrenia, instead of, as in previous studies, in the blood. The results show that patients with recent-onset schizophrenia have raised levels of a signal substance called interleukin-1beta, which can be released in the presence of inflammation. In the healthy control patients, this substance was barely measurable.

"This suggests that the brain's immune defence system is activated in schizophrenia," says Professor Gφran Engberg, who led the study. "It now remains to be seen whether there is an underlying infection or whether the immune system is triggered by some other means."

According to the dominant hypothesis, schizophrenia is related to an overactive dopamine system. Previous studies have shown that interleukin-1beta can upset the dopamine system in rats in a similar way to schizophrenia in humans.

"We would have made terrific progress if we were one day able to treat schizophrenia patients with immunotherapy, as it might then be possible to interrupt the course of the disease at an early stage of its development," says Professor Engberg.

The group is now studying if the inflammatory process is only activated in connection with the development of schizophrenia, or whether chronic patients exhibit the same phenomenon.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sφderlund et al. Activation of brain interleukin-1β in schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry, 2009; 14 (12): 1069 DOI: 10.1038/mp.2009.52

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Immune system activated in schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118092620.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2009, November 18). Immune system activated in schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118092620.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Immune system activated in schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118092620.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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