The following stories have either aired on TV or have appeared in the papers. At
this point in time it is impossible for us to answer every inquiry we have. Therefore, we
are issuing the following statement regarding our work.
The Stanley Research laboratory is interested in collecting information concerning
individuals who believe that they or a member of their family developed schizophrenia or
bipolar disorder as a result of an infection. Please send the relevant information
to us using our “Write To US” E-mail link. The information will be kept on
file until relevant clinical or research studies are developed.
ABC News – June 7, 1999
Viruses on the Brain: The key to a revolution in psychiatry
may lie in a deep freeze at the Stanley Research Foundation in Maryland. Stored here
are pieces of brain, sliced paper thin to let researchers see what’s inside. And
what they believe they are seeing are viruses that trigger mental illness.
“In very concrete terms, we are actually thinking that you have a
chronic infection in the brain,” explains Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, executive director of
the foundation. You have viruses in the brain cells that have changed the chemistry
of the cells.”
For 25 years, Torrey has been on a quest to find the viruses he
believes trigger schizophrenia and manic depression.
The theory is simple: Common viruses can sleep harmlessly in the brain,
but can awaken when we are stressed or have a drop in our immune system. When this
happens, a virus can begin to inflame brain cells.
Scientists are not sure why this happens, but they say some people are
more genetically susceptible to the process.
“When I started it,” Torrey says, “it seemed fairly
outrageous to most of my colleagues. But I must admit, it’s almost respectable now.”
So respectable that within a year a trial study will begin to add
antiviral drugs to the medications for a small number of patients with schizophrenia and
“Our eventual goal,” says Dr. Robert Yolken of the Johns Hopkins
Medical School,”would really be to see if we could prevent or treat these
diseases–particularly schizophrenia–by using one of these anti-viral agents.”
Yolken has joined Torrey to prove the theory, and if they are right,
bring relief for a devastating disease.
Deborah Amos, ABCNEWS
Genomic News Network, June 9, 2000
The Washington Post, November 15, 2001
Increase Schizophrenic Offspring Risk