Infection and depression (hypothesis)

Infectious agents such as herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus can cause mental manifestations that can be diagnosed as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. 

In 1907, the American psychiatrist Henry Cotton tried to treat mental illness, fighting various infections in the human body – he removed carious teeth and tonsils. Despite the fact that his views and methods were flawed, already in the 21st century there is a growing body of evidence that viruses and bacteria, and the associated inflammation, are correlated with some mental illness. Some scientists believe that depression is an infectious disease. Even outwardly, patients with depressive disorders look like infectious patients. They look tired, do not want to get out of bed, lose their appetite. In many eastern countries, patients with depression, first of all, complain of physical illness.

Some brain infections, such as Toxoplasma gondii , cause emotional disturbances, mimic mental illness, or cause mental health problems. The same is characteristic of the Epstein- Barr virus , Bourne disease, herpes viruses, herpes zoster, chickenpox.

The experience of the clinic of Doctor of Medical Sciences V.L. Minotko shows that mental illness requires high-quality microbiological and virological laboratory diagnostics. It should include microscopy, RPHA, ELISA, determination of markers of the state of the mucous membrane, cytokine profile and other indicators of inflammation, as well as neuroimaging . Laboratory research should be combined with careful medical history and clinical studies to identify chronic infectious diseases.

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