ODT: Rat study links maternal illness to schizophrenia risk

Eileen Goodwin writes in the Otago Daily Times about research from the University of Otago showing that flu jabs and other immunisations which prevent infections, could in turn greatly decrease the risk of a pregnant woman’s child later developing schizophrenia.

Pregnant women’ s immune reactions to bacteria and viruses can lead to problems in neural synchronisation in the developing baby, which in turns appears to greatly increase the child’s risk of later developing the disease.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“”There is a considerable body of evidence suggesting that changes in neural synchronisation may underlie a range of symptoms seen in schizophrenia.

“”At the same time, many studies have found that infection during early to mid-pregnancy slightly increases the overall risk of children developing this illness as adults, with recent research implicating the mother’s immune response.”

“The new study helped “connect the dots” between the maternal infection findings and brain-wave research.

“The communication problems between brain regions thought to underpin schizophrenia could be triggered by a maternal immune reaction to infection.”