Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and cognitive functioning in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and nonpsychiatric controls

Faith Dickerson, Cassie Stallings, Andrea Origoni, Emily Katsafanas, Lucy Schweinfurth, Christina Savage, Sunil Khushalani, Robert Yolken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increased rates of exposure to Toxoplasma gondii have been found in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but the association between Toxoplasma and cognitive functioning has not previously been examined. We measured IgG and IgM class antibodies to Toxoplasma in 408 nonelderly individuals with schizophrenia, 347 with bipolar disorder, and 352 nonpsychiatric controls. Cognitive functioning was measured with the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status. Multivariate linear and regression analyses showed significant associations between Toxoplasma IgM antibody level and cognitive scores within the control group and the bipolar disorder group but not the schizophrenia group. Within the control group, having an elevated Toxoplasma IgM antibody level, greater than or equal to the 50th and 75th levels of the control group, was associated with significantly elevated odds of a low total cognitive score. Exposure to Toxoplasma may confer risk for lower cognitive functioning in persons without a psychiatric disorder and those with bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-593
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume202
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Schizophrenia
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • bipolar disorder
  • cognition
  • infection
  • parasite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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