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Maternal Infection and Schizophrenia: Implications for Prevention

Brown, Alan S. and Patterson, Paul H. (2011) Maternal Infection and Schizophrenia: Implications for Prevention. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 37 (2). pp. 284-290. ISSN 0586-7614. PMCID PMC3044639. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbq146.

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Accumulating evidence suggests that maternal infection is a risk factor for schizophrenia. Prospective epidemiological studies indicate that maternal influenza, toxoplasmosis, and genital/reproductive infection are associated with this disorder in offspring. Preclinical models of maternal immune activation have supported the neurobiological plausibility of these microbes in schizophrenia. Previous studies suggest that treatment or prophylactic efforts targeting these and other infections could have significant effects on reducing the incidence of schizophrenia, given that they are common in the population and the effect sizes derived from epidemiological studies of these and other microbial pathogens and schizophrenia, to date, are not small. Fortunately, the occurrence of many of these infections can be reduced with relatively practical and inexpensive interventions that are scalable to large populations given adequate resources. Hence, in the present article, we focus on the potential for prevention of schizophrenia by control of infection, using these 3 categories of infection as examples. Lessons learned from previous successful public health efforts targeting these infections, including the relative advantages and disadvantages of these measures, are reviewed.

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Additional Information:© The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. First published online: December 6, 2010. Funding: National Institute of Mental Health grant (K02 MH065422-06 to A.S.B., MH88879, MH86781, MH079299, BSF2007188 to P.H.P.). The authors wish to thank Patric Prado for his assistance. Drs A.S.B. and P.H.P. have no conflicts to disclose.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)K02 MH065422-06
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)MH88879
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)MH86781
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)MH079299
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)BSF2007188
Subject Keywords:influenza; environment; neurodevelopment; epidemiology; genital reproductive infection; toxoplasmosis
Issue or Number:2
PubMed Central ID:PMC3044639
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110330-134512208
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23181
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Mar 2011 20:53
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:12

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