Many individuals facing schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders are given antibiotics from their doctors. Dr. Brian Miller noticed that more and more female patients were coming in with comorbid UTIs and schizophrenia. Many of these patients experienced improved psychoses after taking medication for the infection rather than the mental disorder. Dr. Miller was struck by the observation that the infection antibiotics rather than psychotropic drugs yielded positive results for the psychosis.
After further research, Dr. Miller found that the risk factors for schizophrenia are increased when the mother of the affected individual experienced viral and bacterial infections during pregnancy. A common infection linked to Schizophrenia is Toxoplasma gondii.
Not only do these infections increase the chance of developing a psychotic disorder, but the reverse is true as well. Individuals with psychotic disorders are more susceptible to infectious diseases.
This information has made clinicians mindful of the link between having a schizophrenia relapse and being exposed to an infection. Doctors are taking careful measures to ensure that at risk patients get the medical treatment they need quickly in order to prevent a psychosis onset.
The link between UTIs and schizophrenia is still being investigated, but there has been a new surge of research that should give more insight about the relationship. Understanding how these two factors are related can change the future of treatment for people with schizophrenia and hopefully prevent the manifestation of the disease in at risk individuals with UTIs.
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