A scientific review has indicated that changes in the blood could contribute to the development of psychosis. The findings of the review could pave the way for the identification of effective early treatments for psychosis.
Researchers involved in the review from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Cardiff University and the UCD Conway Institute, analysed previous studies relating to the role that the immune system and blood clotting play in the development of psychosis.
The researchers found that an imbalance of both the innate immune system and blood clotting networks in the body leads to inflammation which in turn contributes to the development of psychosis.
The review builds on previous studies, including the ‘two-hit’ theory which proposes a two stage process in the development of psychosis. The ‘two-hit’ theory purports that early genetic and/or environmental factors disrupt the developing central nervous system. This leads to the increased vulnerability of the individual to subsequent environmental disruptions that can cause the development of psychosis.
Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the research was funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) in Ireland and Wellcome Trust.
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