How could antibiotics alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia?

Chance discovery of link between acne drug and psychosis may unlock secrets of mental illness

Excerpt: “Scientists believe that schizophrenia and other mental illnesses including depression and Alzheimer’s disease may result from inflammatory processes in the brain. Minocycline has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects which they believe could account for the positive findings.”

My comment:

See, for example: Peripheral neuropathy associated with fluoroquinolones. Cohen JS. Ann Pharmacother. 2001 Dec;35(12):1540-7.

I think the most likely cause of the peripheral neuropathy is antibiotic use that kills the bacteria harboring the viruses responsible for maintenance of the peripheral nervous system via their effects on the immune system.

Until we know more about pharmacogenomics, we are left with a problem that is already more than a decade old, which is just now being linked to the possibility of beneficial (or more detrimental) effects and affects. Why, when the effects of antibiotics on the peripheral nervous system have been known, are we just now learning about their effects on the brain and behavior?

There are some obvious correlates with effects of stress-associated odors on immune system function in mice, and an insect model that links nutrient chemicals and social odors to immune system function and the primary emotional functions of affective processing associated with the gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ-system pathway and with food acquisition. This is the foundation for secondary-process learning and memory mechanisms. These genetically predisposed neurophysiological mechanisms are common to species from insects to mammals, and they  interface with our tertiary-process cognitive-thoughtful functions and behavior (Kohl, in press). Perhaps then, the problem is one of pattern recognition. And if we continue to ignore models that link olfactory/pheromonal input to immune system function and the neuroendocrinology of behavior, progress may be delayed with regard to the treatment of psychoses, which include those manifested with loss of olfactory acuity and specificity in age-related disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.


Author: James Kohl

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