Immunologic Therapeutics and Psychotic Disorders

  • Edward T. Bullmore
    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
    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
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  • Mary-Ellen Lynall
    Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
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Published:December 23, 2013DOI:
      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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