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Schizophrenia and the immune system

William Calvin wcalvin at stein.u.washington.edu
Sat Jan 9 12:49:55 EST 1993


mitchm at casbah.acns.nwu.edu (Mitchell Maltenfort) writes:
>	I was recently watching a PBS "Frontline" on schizophrenia, and was
>struck by an idea when it was mentioned that schizophrenics have certain
>white blood cell abnormalities.  Is it possible that schizophrenia is an
>autoimmune disease?
>	There is some precedent for this: myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune
>disease in which the immune system targets the neurotransmitters that activate
>muscle.  Might schizophrenia be the result of the immune system interfering
>with the brain functions? ....

Several investigators have hypothesized that it's a result of viral
infections and cite birth seasonality (more born in the winter than in any
other season).  Certainly any autoimmuine reaction affecting dopamine
receptor regulation would be a candidate.
    William H. Calvin   WCalvin at U.Washington.edu



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