The immune system is a complex, dynamic regulatory network that affects many aspects of human health and dysfunction. This system has been implicated in various psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. These psychiatric diseases also seem to be comorbid with inflammatory diseases or disease processes, including autoimmune disease. Infectious agents have been hypothesized as a causal factor in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder for many years, with several identified links with infectious disease exposure and inappropriate immune responses. Autoantibodies targeted at neurological processes are strongly implicated as pathological processes, at least in a subset of disorders, the most likely of which being psychosis. The interactions between immune processes and psychiatric illness are broad and may be causal, but there is still much to be understood about how immune processes can affect the expression of psychiatric illnesses and how immune markers may become clinically relevant biomarkers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health