Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2013 Dec;11(3):107-117.

The Neuroimmunology of Schizophrenia

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. S.Lawrie@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a polygenic, multi-factorial disorder and a definitive understanding of its pathophysiology has been lacking since it was first described more than a century ago. The predominant pharmacological approach used to treat SCZ is the use of dopamine receptor antagonists. The fact that many patients remain symptomatic, despite complying with medication regimens, emphasises the need for a more encompassing explanation for both the causes and treatment of SCZ. Recent neuroanatomical, neurobiological, environmental and genetic studies have revived the idea that inflammatory pathways are involved in the pathogenesis of SCZ. These new insights have emerged from multiple lines of evidence, including the levels of inflammatory proteins in the central nervous system of patients with SCZ and animal models. This review focuses on aberrant inflammatory mechanisms present both before and during the onset of the psychotic symptoms that characterise SCZ and discusses recent research into adjunctive immune system modulating therapies for its more effective treatment.

Keyword

Schizophrenia; Inflammation; Immune based therapies
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