Search for Cytomegalovirus in the Postmortem Brains of Schizophrenic Patients Using the Polymerase Chain Reaction

Robert C. Alexander, Stephen A. Spector, Manuel Casanova, Joel Kleinman, Richard Jed Wyatt, Darrell G. Kirch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

• Cytomegalovirus infection has a number of features that suggest a possible association between congenital infection and schizophrenia. Previous studies have investigated anti-cytomegalovirus antibody titers or attempted directly to identify viral antigens in body fluids or brain tissue from schizophrenic subjects but have been limited by the sensitivity of the available methods. The highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction, a newly developed technique for gene amplification, was used to search for cytomegalovirus in the DNA extracted from postmortem temporal cortex samples of eight schizophrenic subjects, eight nonschizophrenic suicide victims, and eight normal controls. Cytomegalovirus-specific DNA amplification was not detected in any of the samples. The implications of this finding for the viral hypothesis of schizophrenia are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of general psychiatry
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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