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Schizoprhenia: Completely in your head or a diabolical retrovirus?

By Zhekarius, Apr 11, 2012 | Updated: Apr 11, 2012 | |
  1. Zhekarius
    This is an article my friend was reading on discover magazine that was just purely fascinating to him, being someone that suffers from mental illness and thought I would share it as well as an excerpt from the article.

    "...We lug around 100,000 retro*virus sequences inside us; all told, genetic parasites related to viruses account for more than 40 percent of all human DNA. Our body works hard to silence its viral stowaways by tying up those stretches of DNA in tight stacks of proteins, but sometimes they slip out. Now and then endogenous retroviruses switch on and start manufacturing proteins. They assemble themselves like Lego blocks into bulbous retroviral particles, which ooze from the cells producing them.

    Endogenous retroviruses were long considered genetic fossils, incapable of doing anything interesting. But since Perron’s revelation, at least a dozen studies have found that HERV-W is active in people with MS.
    By the time Perron made his discovery, Torrey and Yolken had spent about 15 years looking for a pathogen that causes schizophrenia. They found lots of antibodies but never the bug itself. Then Hakan Karlsson, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Yolken’s lab, became interested in studies showing that retroviruses sometimes triggered psychosis in AIDS patients.

    The team wondered if other retroviruses might cause these symptoms in separate diseases such as schizophrenia. So they used an experiment, similar to Perron’s, that would detect any retrovirus (by finding sequences encoding reverse transcriptase enzyme)—even if it was one that had never been catalogued before. In 2001 they nabbed a possible culprit. It turned out to be HERV-W.
    Several other studies have since found similar active elements of HERV-W in the blood or brain fluids of people with schizophrenia. One, published by Perron in 2008, found HERV-W in the blood of 49 percent of people with schizophrenia, compared with just 4 percent of healthy people. “The more HERV-W they had,” Perron says, “the more inflammation they had.” He now sees HERV-W as key to understanding many cases of both MS and schizophrenia. “I’ve been doubting for so many years,” he says. “I’m convinced now.”

    wow, this means someday, there may be a complete and outright cure for schizophrenia as well as some other mental disorders also caused by HERV-W, very interesting stuff.

    My apologies in advance if this wasn't in the right part of the forum, but it seemed like it was.

    Why this is drug related - Schizophrenia and a lot of mental disorders for that matter are highly connected to the use and abuse of drugs, this should be relevant to such people suffering from the ailment as interesting and informative information from a reliable source on the potential and even likely cause of their disease.


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