Cytomegalovirus and schizophrenia

E. Fuller Torrey, Markus F. Leweke, Markus J. Schwarz, Norbert Mueller, Silke Bachmann, Johannes Schroeder, Faith Dickerson, Robert H. Yolken

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Several lines of evidence suggest that cytomegalovirus (CMV) may play an aetiological role in schizophrenia. Epidemiologically, both have a worldwide distribution and an increased prevalence in lower socioeconomic groups. Studies have reported that some patients experiencing initial episodes of schizophrenia have increased levels of IgG antibodies against CMV, but not other herpes viruses, in their sera and CSF. Treatment with antipsychotic medications may result in a decrease in CMV antibodies, while treatment with anti-herpes virus and anti-inflammatory medications may reduce symptoms in some individuals with schizophrenia. There is also some overlap in the genes that are thought to operate in CMV infections and schizophrenia. The strongest argument against the role of CMV in schizophrenia is the absence of the traditional CMV neuropathological changes in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia; however, neuropathological studies of CMV have mostly been conducted in immune-compromised individuals. Further studies on CMV and schizophrenia are needed and may lead to improved treatments for schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-885
Number of pages7
JournalCNS Drugs
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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