Monday, February 10, 2014

Antibiotics Found Effective in Mania and Schizophrenia

Here are reports of two studies done that seem to show the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy for psychological mania and schizophrenia. A little off-topic, but I find these studies about the intersection of brain infection and mental illness to be very important. In my psychotherapy training we tended to focus on the psychological causes of depression, anxiety, and so forth. 

With schizophrenia, for example, there is even a lot of literature about the so-called "schizophrenigenic mother" and gene mutations as common causes of schizophrenia. However, I don't recall even a single  mention of low-level infection and chronic brain inflammation being potential causes of mental illness. 

I now know from my own experiences both with Lyme and with what appears as Parkinson's disease, the state of affairs with my infection level often correlates closely with my mental state, including my ability to sleep, my experience of anhedonia (the inability to feel joy), my level of anxiety, and so forth. 

I've been having a relapse into some psychological symptoms in the last six months and I find it curious that my recent Borrelia culture test showed highly positive this time around. Maybe not a cause-and-effect, but certainly an interesting correlation.


Antibiotics Found Effective in Mania and Schizophrenia -- Two Studies

2013 Sep 18. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12123. [Epub ahead of print]



Increased rates of infection with Toxoplasma gondii have been found in individuals with schizophrenia as compared to control groups but this issue has not been studied in mania.


We measured immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM class antibodies to T. gondii in 57 individuals with mania who were assessed at up to three time-points. We also measured these antibodies in 743 individuals in other psychiatric groups and in 314 non-psychiatric controls. T. gondii antibody levels were compared among groups by multivariate analyses. IgG class and IgM class antibodies to cytomegalovirus were also measured in the same samples. T. gondii antibody levels were also compared over time in the mania group.


The mania group had a significantly elevated level of IgM antibodies to T. gondii as compared to the control individuals without a psychiatric diagnosis [odds ratio (OR) = 2.33, p < 0.04 at hospital admission; and OR = 2.32, p < 0.02 at study entry during the hospital stay]. Elevated IgM class antibodies to T. gondii were not found in individuals with the other psychiatric diagnoses. We also did not find an increased level of IgG class antibodies to T. gondii or IgG or IgM class antibodies to CMV in the individuals with mania. Within the mania group, there was a significant difference between the prevalences of increased levels of T. gondii IgM at the baseline and the follow-up time-point (t = 2.97, p < 0.003).


Infection with T. gondii may confer risk for mania.

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Toxoplasma gondii , bipolar disorder, infection, mania, parasite

Antibiotics Found Effective in Schizophrenia

Tetracyclines help treat psychosis as well as tick-borne disorders.

A controlled clinical trial was just published in the psychiatric literature, showing that minocycline is effective in treating negative symptoms in early phase schizophrenia. A prior pilot study, published in 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, also showed that minocycline was effective in schizophrenia, helping executive functioning such as working memory. The authors postulate that the mechanism of action of minocycline would include affecting glutamate pathways in the central nervous system, blocking nitric oxide-induced neurotoxicity, or inhibiting microglial activation in the brain, causing inflammation. All of these are reasonable potential mechanisms of action. Neither author discusses the obvious fact however that minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic and that it may be treating an occult infection. Have infections ever been reported to cause schizophrenia?



1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for another great article share Bob. my curiosity was piqued when I read that Alzheimer patients improved cognitive skills with nicotine patches. Dr. Alan MacDonald's finding of Borrelia spirochete in the brain tissue underlines organic and microorganism as likely cause or at least contributor of mental disease, and upset. According to him, large holes are found in the brain of some patients... I think mental illness has been misdiagnosed for years. Tobacco also has an effect on reoccurring tonsillitis vanished as a teen when I experimented with smoking. I now theorize that the toxins and poison, possibly nicotine as a poison applied to the throat/lymph, drove the bugs out of my neck, and throat. I cycled as a kid with antibiotics and tonsillitis for years. I pondered for YEARS thereafter, why my tonsillitis ceased to exist. The Native one was more exposed than them, to ticks, infection....they held native tobacco in high esteem. Perhaps they were self treating themselves? I would never recommend smoking (I did for many years, 23 years clean) , but wonder about poultices of organic leaf applied to skin/joints. There is a history of tobacco as medicinal, of similar use. I think antibiotics may have caused illness in overuse..and through the food chain, causing illness to rise across the board. We might be our own undoing. The CDC's release of higher number count of Lyme infection coincides with the Gov issued directive to food producers to stop blanket treating livestock with antibiotics. Trickle down antibiotics in the food chain perhaps have undermined us all.


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