The immune system normally controls our ability to fight infection. If the immune system goes wrong it may attack our own body, causing diseases called ‘autoimmune’ diseases. It has been discovered that some of these autoimmune diseases can affect the brain, and in the early stages of the disease they can manifest through symptoms of psychosis.
We can diagnose some of these autoimmune diseases using blood tests to detect specific antibodies. We are specifically interested in antibodies that may be the cause of symptoms of psychosis and possibly in some cases of schizophrenia.
Here is more information on the PPiP2 study, in which people with psychosis can have their blood tested for these antibodies.
Our colleagues at the McPin Foundation have written a really helpful booklet to explain the potential significance of these antibodies. Please download here.
The SINAPPS2 trial (open for recruitment now)
SINAPPS2 is a phase II ongoing clinical trial aiming to test the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy (intravenous immunoglobulin combined with rituximab) vs placebo treatment in people with acute symptoms of psychosis and anti-neuronal membrane antibodies.
You can find more infomation here.