Friday, July 9, 2010

Inflammation, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorder

Inflammation can be contributing to symptoms manifesting as schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, as a Dutch study adding ASPIRIN to these patients' drug regimen showed.[1]

Much research has been done about the link between inflammation and brain symptoms that get diagnosed as “mental illness.” We discussed back in 2008 about the study showing inflammation in body and brain preceded the brain symptoms that got diagnosed as mental illness.[2,3]

Now, this Dutch study adding 1000 mg/day aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid vs. placebo) to regular medication had a significant effect on positive symptoms (hallucinations, voices, etc.) in patients with “schizophrenia spectrum” disorders:

They found the aspirin did not significantly affect (improve) cognitive function.

They concluded that aspirin does indeed reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and that this reduction is more pronounced in those with more altered immune function.

At this point, I want to say that inflammation is indeed intertwined in my both my daughters' cases. Many other parents have noticed that allergies worsen some of our children's behaviors/symptoms, and many books have been written on this topic by physicians. Both my kids turned out to have food sensitivities and allergies, and ultimately their endocrine system was affected. They would be considered to have had “altered immune function.”

There is increasing evidence that psychiatrists need to act more like regular MDs, but in the U.S., there seems to be a vast divide, and psychiatrists here do not think, run tests, examine patients, and treat like other medical doctors.

In the end, after 13 years under psychiatric care, regular medical care is what helped both my daughters more than the psychiatric care.

I have a comment/suggestion about the scientists' finding, “aspirin did not significantly affect cognitive function” along with the last line of their conclusion: “Inflammation may constitute a potential new target for antipsychotic drug development.”

Rather than throw a modified antipsychotic at the patients, try to answer:  
WHAT is causing the inflammation??!!

I know that after my daughters healed their bodies — medically — and stayed away from certain foods causing their inflammation, improved sleep, etc., their immune function improved and guess what…. Not only did their symptoms of “schizophrenia spectrum disorder” disappear, their cognition improved as well.

And that finding, aspirin alone cannot duplicate.

Perhaps, though, our “heath care system” just wants another pill they can administer to try to cover up symptoms rather than tailoring treatment to individuals and testing for their actual, individual, causes.


[1] Wijnand Laan, PhD; Diederick E. Grobbee, MD, PhD; Jean-Paul Selten, MD, PhD; Cobi J. Heijnen, PhD; René S. Kahn, MD, PhD; and Huibert Burger, MD, PhD Adjuvant Aspirin Therapy Reduces Symptoms of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: Results From a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(5):520–527

[2] Roos, et. al. A Discriminating Messenger RNA Signature for Bipolar Disorder Formed by an Aberrant Expression of Inflammatory Genes in Monocytes Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(4):395-407.

[3] Saey, T.H. Body and Brain: Possible link between inflammation and bipolar disorder Science News April 12, 2008

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05 May 2011 (added links, books)

1 comment:

Jesse said...

I agree with you for the most part about it not being mental. Although a multifaceted approach with life style and medication research I think is the right way to go.