A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows a link between the brain’s response to inflammation and Schizophrenia symptom severity. The study, conducted by researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Sciences Centre, based at Imperial College London, in collaboration with colleagues at King’s College London, measured levels of microglial cells in the brain. Microglial cells are the immune cells of the brain and their presence indicates inflammation of the brain. The study showed higher levels of these cells in the brains of people with Schizophrenia and people at high risk of developing Schizophrenia. The levels of the cells also correlated with Schizophrenia symptom severity, specifically psychotic-like symptoms. The findings of the study suggest that Schizophrenia may be caused by inflammation of the brain; the next step, says study author Oliver Howes, M.D., Ph.D., is to test whether anti-inflammatory drugs can treat or prevent the disorder altogether.
To read more about the study, visit the American Psychiatric Association website.