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The link between inflammation, oxidative stress and schizophrenia.

A new perspective on schizophrenia might give hope to many who suffer from this debilitating disorder. Recent research is finding a link between inflammation, oxidative stress and the onset and development of schizophrenia.


First Episode Psychosis Report


In this 2018 study, titled "Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in First-Episode Psychosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis" published in Schizophrenia Bulletin, the study found more evidence to support the idea that people with first-episode psychosis (FEP) show increased pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative status.


Inflammation Markers Report


Studies have also found that markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, are elevated in people with schizophrenia. Additionally, higher levels of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidants in the body, have been found in people with schizophrenia. Further research is needed to understand the exact relationship between inflammation, oxidative stress, and schizophrenia disorder but the evidence of this factor to schizophrenia is starting to increase.


Schizophrenia A Thinking/Thought Issue


Schizophrenia disorder is often referred to as a thinking or thought issue because it is characterized by disturbances in thinking and cognition. People with schizophrenia often experience a range of cognitive deficits, including deficits in attention, memory, and executive functioning, which can impair their ability to reason and make decisions. Additionally, they may experience confused or disorganized thought patterns, hallucinations, and delusions, which can further disrupt their thinking and lead to difficulties in daily life.


Brain Activities Of Schizophrenia


People with schizophrenia disorder have been shown to have different levels of activity in certain areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. Studies have shown that there is an increased activation of the prefrontal cortex in people with schizophrenia, which can lead to impaired decision-making, language processing, and executive functioning. Additionally, people with schizophrenia disorder have been shown to have decreased activation of the hippocampus, which is important for memory formation and retrieval, as well as reduced activation of the amygdala, which is involved in emotional regulation.


Drugs That Can Induce Psychosis


Several drugs can induce a psychotic episode, including hallucinogens, stimulants, and certain types of antidepressants. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and mescaline, can cause users to experience intense and sometimes overwhelming hallucinations. Stimulants, such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy, can lead to paranoia, delusions, and other psychotic symptoms. Antidepressants, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, and MAOIs, can also cause psychotic episodes in some individuals. It is important to note that most of these drugs can be highly addictive and should only be taken under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.


Drugs That Can Increase The Risks Of Developing Schizophrenia Disorder


The use of certain drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, and hallucinogens, has been linked to an increased risk of developing schizophrenia disorder. These drugs can interfere with brain functioning and trigger psychotic episodes. Additionally, the misuse of stimulants, such as methamphetamine and ecstasy, has also been linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia disorder. It is important to note that the use of these drugs does not necessarily cause schizophrenia disorder, but it can increase the risk of developing the condition.


How To Handle A Person Having A Psychotic Episode?


It is important to remember that when someone is having a psychotic episode, they may not be able to think or act logically. It is important to stay calm and remain patient. It is also important to be aware of the person's environment and ensure that it is safe and free from potential triggers. Make sure to be respectful, non-judgmental, and supportive. It is also important to avoid challenging their beliefs or confronting them in any way. Instead, offer words of reassurance, listen to them, and encourage them to seek professional help.


Potential Treatment


Based on the increasing number of research that has been published recently that linked schizophrenia to inflammation and oxidative stress, 360 Wellness Hub has taken the steps to review inflammation and oxidative stress markers in the treatment of schizophrenia.


Rather than rely on the standard treatment for schizophrenia disorder such as antipsychotic medications, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and psychosocial interventions. Perhaps we need to also consider reducing the inflammation and oxidative stress levels of the individual.


The risk of drug-induced psychosis is high among those who use recreational drugs. Thus, treatment should examine the possibility of recreational drug use and addiction.


Looking at schizophrenia disorder through a 360 lens, we can better discover the causal or developmental progression of the disease in the individual and thus provide a more comprehensive and detailed treatment plan for the patient. Call us for information or for help.

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About the Author

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Dr. Lennie Soo

Founder and Clinical Director of 360 Wellness Hub.

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