Researcher: Are infectious diseases, the trigger for mental illness?

Infections can, apparently, lead to mental disorders

A Danish study is a suspicious Overlap in the statistics between infections and mental illness. The scientists suspect a connection.

80 per cent probability of a mental disorder

Ole Köhler-Forsberg and his Team from Aarhus University Hospital found in a observational study: children and young people who have been treated for an infection, have an increased risk to subsequently develop a mental disorder. In the case of a hospital stay due to an infection, this probability was more than 80 percent.

Used Connection?

The researchers explicitly point out that an observational study cannot prove a causal connection. Keep him but for possible.

Other possible causal relationships

Not only a direct influence of the pathogen on the brain was not possible, indirect influences, such as the antibiotic disturbed gut flora, or the affected immune system may play a role.

Different mental disorders

According to the researchers, the results showed that the immune system and the infection part in the Emergence of very different mental disorders, of forced up to personality disorders.

Extensive Study

A connection between mental illness and have suffered infections from older studies known. The researchers are now evaluated in a comprehensive data from the Danish national patient registry from – of the Danes, who came between 1995 and 2012 to the world. Who was because of a serious infection in a hospital, for the risk of a mental illness increased by 84 percent. An infection has been treated purely medically, the risk is 40 percent more.

The differences in the drugs

The risk was greatest in patients who were treated with antibiotics, in the case of drugs against viruses, or fungi, there was no increased risk.

What is the mental disease broke out?

The biggest risk for the previously Infected in the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, personality such as behavior disorders, autism, and attention deficit syndrome.

What is the probability the individual was?

In the case of teenagers, the probability increased after infection for obsessive-compulsive disorder by a factor of eight, for anxiety, behavioral and developmental disorders, a 5.6-fold. No connection was seen with depression and eating disorders.

What could be the causes?

The researchers think the pathogen can affect the Central nervous system directly. Or, the antibiotics, the intestinal flora influence so much so that brain activities will be disturbed. “We know that the gut and brain are closely interconnected. Also, the immune system could attack the nervous system, while the pathogen abwehrt“, the scientists emphasize. Viviane Labrie and Lena Brundin of the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan to support the Danish researchers and to keep the study for a clue that pathogens play in the Emergence of mental disorders.

What the impact would be?

The suspicion that infections can trigger subsequent mental illness is confirmed, this would be an important approach to mental disorders to prevent, diagnose and treat. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)