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More Autoimmune Connections Emerging

Some psychosis cases an 'immune disorder' - BBC News

"Depression: A revolution in treatment

"Sarah was rapidly sectioned by doctors, given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and treated with anti-psychotic medication.

However, a chance blood test turned up something unusual in her immune system.

Antibodies should protect the body, but instead Sarah's were attacking the surface of her brain's cells and disrupting their function.

That transformed Sarah's treatment, and she was given drugs to suppress her immune system. She even had troublesome antibodies filtered out of her blood."

"The strongest evidence was for antibodies that attack the NMDA receptor which helps brain cells communicate with each other. These were the antibodies found in Sarah and turned up in 3% of people tested.

Prof Lennox told the BBC: "The implications of this are that there are patients in mental health services now who will have these antibodies and could potentially be treated in a very different way.

"I think this is a really exciting advance for psychiatry as a whole, and every psychiatrist and patient with psychosis needs to be aware of this and to look for it and treat it assertively when we find it."

2 Replies

This is very interesting - just imagine if she hadn't got the correct diagnosis....

'A chance blood test turned up something unusual' - so this blood test will now be included in all mental health diagnoses, will it? And the same treatment made available to all?

I'd like to see a definite treatment plan, not just implications and recommendations.

It would also be good to know what the test was, so patients can ask for it by name. Imagine trying to explain this to a doctor who knew nothing about it: "I saw it on the internet"


Call me cynical Frodo but, even if you did manage to get them test for this, the way the system works, we are probably still going to have a battle to convince the psychiatrists if they only look at one symptom and not the whole picture.

Our family are still failing to convince our relative's psychiatrists that her worsening memory, voices and hallucinations are the result of long standing PA/B12 deficiency. They have stopped her B12 injections, stubbornly continue to insist 'blood tests show high B12', and have ignored her history, physical symptoms and all evidence we've provided.


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