Autoimmune Diseases Masquerading as Psychiatric Disorders – A Paradigm Shift

Posted on April 2, 2016

The first description of an autoimmune disease affecting the brain was provided by William Osler in 1895 where he described the occurrence of psychosis in SLE. It hasn’t been until more recently that this hypothesis has gathered some momentum in neurology and psychiatry.

 

References

On the Visceral Complications Op Erythema Exudativum Multiforme

Osler, W. (1895). On the Visceral Complications Op Erythema Exudativum Multiforme. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 110(6), 629-645.

Immune dysregulation and autoimmunity in bipolar disorder: Synthesis of the evidence and its clinical application

Rege, S., & Hodgkinson, S. J. (2013). Immune dysregulation and autoimmunity in bipolar disorder: Synthesis of the evidence and its clinical application. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

  • Luckily got this post.. thanks for the content and would like to get more on psychology and autoimmune disorders.

  • jgas

    Prevalent early-life immune activation will probably turn out to be a contributor to the increase in these presentations; also in PANS/PANDAS and increases in general immune dysregulation (autoimmune disease and allergy).
    ‘A single neonatal infection programs the function of immune cells within
    the brain, called microglia, for the life of the rodent such that an
    adult immune challenge results in exaggerated cytokine production within
    the brain and associated cognitive deficits.’

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018506X13000524

    It will be very helpful for psychiatrists and primary physicians to be made aware the duty to look for the red flags that signal likely immune cause and thus avoid patients being consigned to a lifetime of ineffective treatment, or worse.

    • Psychscenehub

      Excellent points. A lot of clues lie in the history. Exposure to early infection or presence of inflammatory conditions should alert the psychiatrist or physician to at least consider a possible immune hypothesis.