Radical new approach to schizophrenia treatment begins trial

Given the high level of autoimmune sufferers here, this story in today's Guardian seems potentially of relevance. Of course, I am not suggesting everyone with Hashimoto's has schizophrenia - rather, if an autoimmune disorder could be a factor in schizophrenia, then perhaps it could also be a factor in other mental health issues.

Radical new approach to schizophrenia treatment begins trial

Exclusive: as evidence emerges that schizophrenia could be an immune system disease, two-year trial will use antibody drug currently used for MS

British scientists have begun testing a radically new approach to treating schizophrenia based on emerging evidence that it could be a disease of the immune system.

theguardian.com/society/201...

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  • Interesting as my brother has schizophrenia and MS, I have hashimotos and our Father has a huge goiter. Surely there are some autoimmune connections there? I'll be interested to see how this study progresses.

    Thanks for posting this Helvella.

  • Very interesting and very hopeful.

  • I've read the symptoms can also be caused by toxiplasma gondii from cats: independent.co.uk/news/scie...

    “Latent toxoplasmosis was commonly assumed to be asymptomatic in humans, except in pregnant women….Recent studies have shown that it could represent a risk factor for some mental disease such as schizophrenia, but more studies are needed to understand all the impacts on human health,” she added.

    At least some doctors have stopped barking up the wrong trees!

  • Hey BadHare - what a good read and the comments are hilarious.

  • So they are! Thanks for pointing that out LAHs, I wish I'd read them sooner!

    I know a few crazy cat people. One elderly woman lies to her husband about how many she has. The other person's house is like a cat horror film. Not a single tweet from the woods nearby. I wonder how true the rest is?

  • Thats interesting as I have had psychotic symptoms needing medication at times and my brother is very psychotic ( neither of us like the label schizophrena). I was infected with toxoplasmosis in womb and have scaring that has been seen by opticians in my eyes. It is shown to produce rather unusual personalitys in humans that tend to be over confident and take big risks and that is so me. Toxicara does the same to the personalitys of infected mice who then take silly risks and are even really friendly with cats who then eat them. So the cycle continues. My mother loved cats. I am suprised at schizophrenia being desrcibed as auto immune. I doubt the connection but have always felt that Bi polar is related to thyroid. I think there are very real psychological and social reasons for psychosis. To quote my father ' A delusion is when a psychatrist cant cope and goes into denial' and my mother who said 'It takes a very brave person to be paraniod most people bury their heads in the sand'.

  • Your parents have some good sayings!

    Just because a person is paranoid, it doesn't mean someone's not out to get them.

    Have your doctors ever looked at the possibility of a T. gondii infection in your family? I'm sure with these things that there are many causes, as there are with symptoms, & that science doesn't understand most of them yet.

    I have a bipolar friend who is hypo, & taking lithium, which reduces thyroid hormone uptake. I'm sure more of the latter would help, but the doctors seem do what's easiest for them, not the patient.

    Another friend's neighbour was infected with T. gondii when pregnant. Her son is in his early 30's, & will always have a mental age of 6. Being cautious with litter trays wasn't common knowledge at the time she was pregnant.

  • Just looked it up yes I haveT.gondi infection it is the same as far as I can seeas toxicara. Explains why I was such a bad driver.

  • Oh dear!

  • This was also given brief airtime on "trust me I am a doctor" mental health special this week

    They seemed surprised and astonished that a mental health issue could have physical cause

    I did think we should try to get Hashimoto's looked at on next mental health special.......endo's are so keen to misdiagnose clear physical condition of gut disfunction, low vitamins, gluten intolerance and inability to convert T4 as "generalised anxiety disorder " or "neurosis"

  • Just watching that on iplayer - hadn't realised when I posted!

  • I agree, SlowDragon. The programme was interesting.

  • This was also mentioned in the 'Trust me I'm a Doctor' mental health special programme on Wednesday evening BBC two (1 Nov).

    This link gives the info from that section of the programme.

    bbc.co.uk/programmes/articl...

    Thanks for posting.

  • Anthea55,

    Thanks for posting that link. :-)

  • I did a bit of burrowing down - hadn't tried that before.

    From iPlayer I went to 'Programme website', then to 'Issues covered in the programme', then you can choose any of their programmes. Useful.

  • Thanks Helvella, fascinating. It does seem bizarre to me to think that the brain and body are separate ummm.... the brain is body and apparently we have the equivalent of a cat’s brain in our gut. We are all body surely. Really interesting research thank you, and thanks Anthea for the link.

  • Blue_Bee,

    Given the widespread understanding of many of us being cat slaves, that somehow emphasises the direction of the relationship with our guts. :-)

  • Cat / dog slave myself - love 'em. Dog behaviourists know that gut and behaviour are linked - mine needed more Omegas and wow - what an improvement - temperament calmed down and a skin complaint resolved.

  • Hehe, stories often come up of vets being better than doctors ;)

  • I have a strong dislike of cats. I've cat sat a few, & always feel as though I have flu, so possibly an allergy. It never happens when I stay in dogs' houses.

  • Blue_Bee

    I like to think I am all brain 🤣😂🤣 a whippet body would be nice and trim tho!

  • Thanks for this Helvella.

    I know someone’s who has fast cycling (ultra rapid) bipolar and his sister has schizophrenia both are very resistant to drug treatment with terrible consequences.

    Given T3 can be especially effective in treating fast cycling bipolar

    nimh.nih.gov/funding/clinic...

    and patients with schizophrenia (and probably bipolar i’d guess) appear to have higher than normal TSH readings, there seems to be something autoimmune going on that has yet to be explained.

    It could be a much needed advance in treating two truly dreadful conditions, Let’s hope it leads to a new approach with more effective results for those who are very unfortunate to be thus afflicted.

    Perhaps it might lead to better help for thyroid problems too.

  • My sister has just written a book about her experiences of life with schizophrenia. It is available via Amazon and is called 'Out of the Tunnel' by Joan Wicks. She has been very brave and honest and has done it in the hope that it will help other sufferers/family/carers.

    Obviously I have to declare a connection as she is my sister, but I have nothing to gain from sharing this.

  • Am I allowed to mention this helvella ?

    Not forgetting Dr. Hoffer's vitamin help for schitzophrenia - Niacin (Vitamin B3)

    Niacin is also said to help normalize cholesterol levels, mental conditions, anxiety, ADHD and more.

  • Niacin does help in some methylation issues. Phoenix Rising Forum for M.E is often mentioning it as useful for dealing with insomnia and a racing mind. There needs to be some kind of 'unified theory' of autoimmune conditions which takes into account predisposing genetics, triggers and diet. Unfortunately, medics are not trained to think that way.

  • It's good to hear niacin is helping some ME members, HLAB35. Niacin is often a forgotten vitamin. Yes! medics do not consider the root causes of autoimmune conditions, they rarely look at gut issues, vitamins or mineral deficiencies. Though there is a Dr Chattergee who is often on TV and he said recently on BBC morning news he is going try and change Doctor's (all over the UK) thinking on nutrition. That would be brilliant.

    I take a small dose of niacin at night and find it helps me sleep soundly and gives me a lift in mood the next day, I feel far happier and rarely feel down now.

    I forgot to mention another important thing niacin helps, it balances our thyroid hormone levels.

  • How much niacin do you take at night?

  • After a lot of experimentation I've found what's working for me currently is 405mg TriMagnesium Dictrate (Magnesium Citrate in a Menopause supplement) + 15mg Zinc Citrate + 50mg Niacin - taken in the evening with some nut milk and gluten free porridge with some blueberries and inulin fibre. I sleep well now - and can wake feeling positive and refreshed at 6.30, no problem. I had a go with (adaptogen) herbs, and with specific amino acids, but they were not as reliable as this combo - for me.

  • That sounds good! Thanks for answering 😄

  • Magnesium and zinc are very good too HLAB35, pleased to hear that they are working brilliantly well for you.

  • 100mcg Niacin/vitaminB3 Canis2017

  • I saw the BBC programme too and was fascinated. My mother had RA and my sister was schizophrenic. She also had a weight problem which began at the same time as her psychosis. Unfortunately by the time she became very ill she had emigrated with her family to New Zealand.

  • Not all in the mind by Dr Richard Mackarness was a massively important find for me, personally but also in for research I did for an ebook that I wrote a few years ago. Although I wasn't researching schizophrenia in particular I kept coming across information alluding to the fact that wheat and other glutinous grains can contribute quite potently to inflammation in various parts of the body and for schizophrenics I guess the inflammation is concentrated in the brain. With the withdrawal of grains the persons were made entirely well! I was interested in schizophrenia because I have an aunt and cousin who suffer with this and now it seems another cousin is on this awful journey. It seems too simple that a basic food can cause such a violent ailment but there seems to be evidence that certain foods cause certain people problems. I knew I had a thyroid problem and believe others in my family also have undiagnosed thyroid problems but they are doing the medical journey of being treated for a myriad of things but never getting well. I wrote my book on the anti inflammatory diet because I had been to every Dr and specialist and was told I was depressed and had pcos hypermobility syndrome IBS chronic allergies hormone issues severe pms and fybro! I eventually stopped taking their drugs as I could see no end to their prescribing and no end to the illnesses! I did the research and treated myself and did protocols for others. I knew there was an extra problem fore and eventually got diagnosed in 2015 by Dr P. And being treated has finally cleared up residual issues thatyou anti inflammatory diet couldn't fix. Health is the most important thing for all of us as when it's removed life can be an uphill struggle. I will never knowingly eat gluten again knowing the risk and I am often dairy free but seem ok with goat dairy. Wishing everyone good health. 😊

  • Were you put on any Prescription thyroid medication Ebs73 ?

    Wonderful that you wrote your book are we allowed to know the title of your book or is that against TUK rules ?

  • Hi Coastwalker, after 21 years of weird symptoms and quite a lot of resrarch I eventually self medicated with adrenal glandular and NDT I got somewhat better but not fully, my Dr and chronic fatigue specialist would not support this move and on two occasions insisted I stopped self medicating! On the second go on these supplements my chronic fatigue specialist told me that people who take vitamins and supplements die earlier than those who don't! I went to see Dr P and he confirmed what I'd suspected despite the other medical persons insisting I was not hypothyroid. I took adrenal and thyroid supplements under Dr P for a third time. Eventually I realised I was definitely thyroid hormone resistant and went on to take high dose T3 therapy and am much better for it! My GP refuses to suport this even though I am much improved! ? My little ebook is titled 'Get Well Or Die Trying:An earthlings guide to healthy eating' 😀 it's available on Amazon.

  • What awful medical and vitamin advice you were given Ebs73, thankfully you worked it out yourself and didn't give up researching.

    I have taken a note of your ebook title (thank you) and will check it out on Amazon, the title was well chosen. :)

  • Hi

    I spent many years being unstable inconsistent and a complete nightmare

    It wasn’t until I got double vision that anyone really took me seriously

    I was diagnosed with TED and Graves’ disease,after reading other people’s stories on here I realised it wasn’t just me who had been there at the end of my tether.. a psycho ( my friends used to call me that)

    4years later -after block & replace, relapses, large nodes & finally total thyroidectomy that permanently frustrated angry internal organs vibrating continuously paranoid sweaty shaky mood swinging nasty person I was has gone now I’m left to pick up the pieces of a broken life with a clear(ish) mind I’m moving forward

    Prior to being diagnosed I never realised how much the thyroid controlled everything the impact it has on ones mental state and after reading the article I’m comforted that this kind of research will raise awareness and hopefully help others with thyroid issues be understood and diagnosed before their relationships, reputation and futures are damaged

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