Several factors are considered as the cause of psychosis. Some of these are genetics, trauma, or substance abuse. Each case of this mental disorder varies in each patient. However, new findings starts controversy when tests showed that psychosis could be due to our own antibodies attacking the brain. Some experts claim, insanity may be an immune disorder.
published in the Lancet Psychiatry gathered blood samples from 228 people suffering from psychosis. Results showed that one in eleven cases of psychosis had shown activities of antibodies attacking the brain.
"Some patients with first-episode psychosis had antibodies against NMDAR that might be relevant to their illness, but did not differ from patients without NMDAR antibodies in clinical characteristics. Our study suggests that the only way to detect patients with these potentially pathogenic antibodies is to screen all patients with first-episode psychosis at first presentation," written in the study.
Lead researcher Prof Belinda Lennox, a clinical psychiatrist at the University of Oxford, said that people who have this kind of antibodies that attack the brain could be treated in a different way.
However, the findings initiated skepticism among other experts.
Josep Dalmau, from the University of Barcelona, said that most patients with established psychosis show symptoms of "seizures or abnormal movements." This means that these people who have similar or related symptoms of psychosis have an extremely low number of antibodies. He expresses his concern regarding the study, and said it should be taken with caution.
Nevertheless, the study is a milestone towards the progress in healing mental disorders. It opens a new gate, increasing variations of treatment for psychosis. We may all a bit crazy in our own little ways, but mental disorders that affect the quality of life should be quelled in any way possible.
Or else the mishap in The Shining happens in real life. Oh my, no.