Psychiatric Disorders: Are Infectious Agents to Blame?

November 29, 2019





The association between infection and psychiatric disorders was one of the milestones of early 20th century medicine. The identification of Treponema pallidum in the brains of individuals with “general paresis of the insane” by Noguchi and Moore in 1913 established the role of tertiary syphilis and showed that bacterial infections can cause long-term changes in both neurological and psychiatric functioning. The eventual development of treatments for syphilis and the subsequent curing of individuals with general paresis also showed that the discovery of an infectious cause of a neuropsychiatric disorder could be followed by effective treatment. The association between infection and some cases of psychiatric disorders was further solidified by the identification of an increased rate of encephalitis lethargica following the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919. Influenza control measures might be partially credited for the rarity of encephalitis lethargica in the modern era…..

Microorganisms capable of his latency include a diverse range of taxa including viruses such as the herpesviruses herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein Barr virus as well as retroviruses such as human immunodeficiency virus, measles virus, bacteria such as Chlamydiae and Borreliae, and protozoa such as Toxoplasma gondii…(See link for article)


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BTW: t. gondii has been found in ticks (Ixodes ricinus), and these ticks also transmit Lyme and tick-borne encephalitis virus:, and

Toxoplasmosis causes many mental issues and psychiatrist E. Fuller Torry believes that 75% of schizophrenia is associated with infections, with Toxo a significant portion.

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