Conceptual image of a person's brain with a cluster of cells inside
Is the Immune System to Blame for Schizophrenia?
Several lines of evidence suggest that targeting the body’s defense pathways might help treat a subset of people with the psychiatric disorder. But many open questions remain.
ABOVE: Modified from © istock.com, Viki, yodiyim
Is the Immune System to Blame for Schizophrenia?
Is the Immune System to Blame for Schizophrenia?

Several lines of evidence suggest that targeting the body’s defense pathways might help treat a subset of people with the psychiatric disorder. But many open questions remain.

Several lines of evidence suggest that targeting the body’s defense pathways might help treat a subset of people with the psychiatric disorder. But many open questions remain.

ABOVE: Modified from © istock.com, Viki, yodiyim

autoimmune disease

Illustration comparing neural pathway and the humoral pathway
Infographic: How the Body’s Defenses Attack the Brain
Diana Kwon | Apr 18, 2022
Scientists have pinpointed several pathways through which the immune system could disrupt neuronal functioning and thereby lead to psychotic symptoms.
Translucent, red-orange organs are shown inside a person’s transparent, blue torso. One region zooms in on blue lung alveoli covered by bright orange microbes.
Bacteria in the Lungs Can Regulate Autoimmunity in Rat Brains
Dan Robitzski | Mar 17, 2022
Making specific alterations to the bacterial population in a rat’s lungs either better protects the animals against multiple sclerosis–like symptoms or makes them more vulnerable, a study finds—the first demonstration of a lung-brain axis.
LabTalk Podcast - Predicting the Immune Response with Single-Cell Analysis: Autoimmunity, Vaccination, and COVID-19
The Scientist Creative Services Team, 10x Genomics | Mar 31, 2021
Researchers identify signatures that predict how a person will respond to an immune system stimulus.
illustration of thymus in white on a green background
New Mechanism for Virus-Triggered Autoimmunity Uncovered
Sophie Fessl | Mar 11, 2022
Roseolovirus infection disrupts how the body trains immune cells not to attack it, a mouse study shows.
Epstein-Barr virus EBV, a herpes virus which causes infectious mononucleosis and Burkitt's lymphoma isolated on black background. 3D illustration
Epstein-Barr Virus Causes Multiple Sclerosis: Study
Christie Wilcox | Jan 13, 2022
Experts say new research provides strong evidence that a common herpesvirus can trigger the chronic inflammatory disease.
3D illustration of a tapeworm infestation in a human intestine
Return of the Worms
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2021
Immunologists and parasitologists are working to revive the idea that helminths, and more specifically the molecules they secrete, could help treat allergies and autoimmune disease.
December 2021 - Gut Guests - Infographic
Infographic: How Worms that Reside in the Gut Could Influence Health
Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2021
Research in animals and people supports a range of mechanisms by which the parasites affect physiology and immune responses.
orange and blue cell image
Woman’s Body Appears to Rid Itself of HIV
Chloe Tenn | Nov 18, 2021
Researchers report what appears to be the second case of a person’s immune system clearing the virus on its own.
Two emergency responders stand near a barricade on a street in New York
Q&A: Health of 9/11 First Responders 20 Years Later
Amanda Heidt | Sep 7, 2021
The Scientist spoke with Rachel Zeig-Owens, the director of epidemiology for the World Trade Center Health Program, about what scientists have learned after two decades of studying illness and disease among survivors.
a pink and purple micrograph of a longitudinal section of human spinal ganglion cells
Mouse Study Suggests Fibromyalgia Has Autoimmune Roots
Annie Melchor | Jul 2, 2021
When researchers injected mice with antibodies from fibromyalgia patients, the animals developed symptoms of the disease—suggesting that it may be controlled by the immune system, not the nervous system.
Sex Differences in Immune Responses to Viral Infection
Catherine Offord | Mar 1, 2021
Stronger interferon production, greater T cell activation, and increased susceptibility to autoimmunity are just some of the ways that females seem to differ from males.
Noel Rose, Immunology, Autoimmune Disease, John Hopkins University, University at Buffalo, Microbiology, Antigens
Noel Rose, Who Demonstrated Autoimmunity Exists, Dies at 92
Amanda Heidt | Aug 10, 2020
The Johns Hopkins University researcher bucked the prevailing idea that the body would not launch an immune response against its own tissues, and in doing so established an entirely new scientific discipline.
an illustration of a woman holding her head
Could COVID-19 Trigger Chronic Disease in Some People?
Katarina Zimmer | Jul 17, 2020
A handful of viruses have been associated with long-term, debilitating symptoms in a subset of those who become infected. Early signs hint that SARS-CoV-2 may do the same.
Identified: Molecular Predictors of Rheumatoid Arthritis Relapse
Ruth Williams | Jul 15, 2020
The presence of a particular set of RNAs in the blood forewarns of an onset of severe symptoms and points to the cells involved.
ms multiple sclerosis autoimmune disease pregnancy t cells clones
MS Relief During Pregnancy Tied to Changes in T Cell Types
Ashley P. Taylor | Nov 15, 2019
Many dominant T cell variants decline during pregnancy and reappear afterward, possibly explaining why relapses of the autoimmune disease are less common when women are expecting.
northwestern memorial hospital hsct hematopoietic stem cell clinical trial multiple sclerosis ms selma blair richard burt
Northwestern University Stem Cell Therapy Clinic Closes Abruptly
Katarina Zimmer | Sep 6, 2019
A Chicago-based center that has long operated a clinical trial program for stem cell therapies, has stopped recruiting further patients as its chief, Richard Burt, leaves for a research sabbatical.
Image of the Day: White Blood Cell Webs
Emily Makowski | Sep 5, 2019
Neutrophil extracellular traps may hold clues to the cause of skin lesions in patients with a painful condition called hidradenitis suppurativa.
microbiome
Do Commensal Microbes Stoke the Fire of Autoimmunity?
Amanda B. Keener | Jun 1, 2019
Molecules produced by resident bacteria and their hosts may signal immune cells to attack the body’s own tissues.
Commensal Mimicry in Autoimmune Disease
Infographic: Commensal Mimicry in Autoimmune Disease
Amanda B. Keener | Jun 1, 2019
Antigens originating from the microbiome may trigger an autoimmune response.