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Immunologic Therapeutics and Psychotic Disorders

  • Edward T. Bullmore
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Edward T. Bullmore, M.B., Ph.D., Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Herchel Smith Building for Brain & Mind Sciences, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK
    Affiliations
    Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge

    ImmunoPsychiatry, Alternative Discovery & Development, GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage

    Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Search for articles by this author
  • Mary-Ellen Lynall
    Affiliations
    Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
    Search for articles by this author
Published:December 23, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.12.006
      There are no new ideas under the sun of psychosis. The idea that immunologic treatments might be effective for psychotic disorders arguably dates back to the 1870s, when Rosenblium published a series of case reports linking psychotic states to febrile episodes of malarial infection. Wagner-Jauregg won a Nobel Prize 40 years later for showing that syphilitic psychosis could be treated by medical inoculation of malarial parasites (
      • Whitrow M.
      Wagner-Jauregg and fever therapy.
      ). Although inoculation of malarial parasites is not a potential treatment for psychotic disorders in the 21st century, this history does remind us that the more recent increasing interest in inflammatory mechanisms and treatments of psychosis represents a return of attention to an old idea in medicine—and premedical folklore—rather than a fundamentally new idea.
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