PSYCHOPATHOLOGY IN FIRST-EPISODE SCHIZOPHRENIA AND ANTIBODIES TO TOXOPLASMA GONDII
Psychopathology. 2005 Mar-Apr;38(2):87-90. Epub 2005 Apr 22.
Bachmann S, Schroder J, Bottmer C, Torrey EF, Yolken RH.
Section of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
Objective: Environmental factors such as infectious agents may contribute to the psychopathology and aetiology of schizophrenia. Toxoplasma gondii (TG) is a candidate infectious agent as it is known to replicate within the human central nervous system and to alter behaviour in experimental animals. Method: The relationship between antibodies to TG and psychopathological symptoms was examined in 34 first-episode patients with schizophrenia. Results: Results of regression analyses revealed that symptoms on admission, predictors of outcome, age and family history of psychiatric disease influenced the levels of antibodies to TG. Conclusions: These results indicate that TG infections may play a role in the clinical manifestation of psychopathology in a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia.