Monday , January 25 2021

Children with mental illness are often infected

– Indicates that there is a connection between the immune system and the mind. We can see that you have more and more serious infections in childhood, while raising the risk of developing a mental illness when you are a child.

This means the doctor and doctoral student of the Clinical Medicine department at Arshus University, Ole Kohler-Forbesburg.

He is the chief researcher behind a large register study, which is now published in Jama Jupiter.

In the study, researchers followed almost 1.1 million children born in Denmark from 1995-2012. They focused on children who had made a mental illness and were infected in childhood.

Studies have shown that an infected child has an 84% higher risk of developing mental illness.

More than 250,000 children have been infected with infection, and only 42,000 children develop mental illness during this period.

It is a very small risk

How safe is the infection that leads to mental illness?

"We are not sure about that. There are many other factors that play in. Our findings suggest that immune system and immunity can be a part of development." Kohler-Forbes says, how big is that role, to determine future research. Should

84% increase seems to be a lot of risk.

But it is a very small risk that has increased by 84 percent. Out of 1.1 million children, 3.9 percent are believed to be in psychotherapy, and 5.2 percent receive medicines for mental illness.

It is this proportion which increases by 84%.

See the numbers

Research is critical behind the research, and it does not represent absolute numbers.

But it is small for all groups.

The relative numbers versus the whole number

Some statistical reports indicate the number of people doing something – they are called absolute numbers. Other reports show how much percentage it does or what it means – it's called "related number".

For example, 50 percent increase in the number of luxury ships from 1960 to 1961 can be heard violently. But in the 1960s two luxury boats were sold, it meant that only one additional boat was sold in 1961. Therefore, the increase in full conditions is not as sharp.

Read more in the science dk article guide: You should ask 8 questions for the statistics

(Read more about risk and full numbers in this article from reputable statistics researcher David Spiegelhalter. At the risk of alcohol (again) or this science-based article: Guidelines: 8 questions should you ask for statistics.)

"There is a small risk that increases slightly. Kohler-Forbes said that we are a group of children where the infection and the immune system affect the development of mental illness.

Honey or eggs?

In the study, researchers have seen children admitted to the hospital due to infection.

Child and adolescent psychiatry later increases the risk of treatment by 84%.

The risk of taking medication against mental illness increases 42%.

But keep in mind that there are very small numbers that increase. It is still around 6-7% of the group that develops a mental illness.

– The number indicates that there is a connection. It may be that infection and immune response affect the development of mental illness. Kohler-Forbes said that, we can not say before we can say.

In some cases, bacteria or viruses entering the brain can lead to mental illness. Or due to immune response, which affects the brain in one way or another.

If the researchers can be better than finding and diagnosing such a subset of patients, they are hoping to provide better treatment.

However, that situation is better in the future.

Methods of Mental Illness

Researchers have been able to find out that some analyzes have been conducted, and for other factors which may be the cause of coincidence.

For example, they have improved their educational level, and they consider whether a parent has a mental illness or not.

According to Pia Jeppysen, the study professor and general practitioner in child and adolescent psychiatry in the Capital Region of Denmark, studies are very hard.

In other matters, it shows a dose response – the risk of mental illness increases as many children get infected. I think it's interesting, she says.

He agrees with Kohler-Forceburg that it is impossible to determine what he leads to.

"There may be social factors that are not balanced for them. We know that if you are coming through stressful situations, then the risk of mental illness increases, and you will be more severe infections, so it is not necessary that leads to another, But it happens together, he says.

Social factors can also play a role

P.A. Jeppysen takes a special note of comparison with infected infants. Then they increase the risk of mental illness by only 20%.

Because the brothers have the same parents and the same development, they take into account other genetic, social, environmental and health factors.

"It suggests that social factors play a role," Jeppysen said.

Weak immune system – weak mentality?

Ole Kohler-Forceburg says that another possible explanation may be genetic.

There are large genetic studies that show that genetic variations that increase the risk of mental illness are actually linked to the immune system. So it can be that the relationship we find is due to the genetic aspect, he says.

Although the brothers usually have some genetic, but the change in genes in a variety of categories may be different.

So what do we know …

It is a connection between physical and mental health.

  • Perhaps some of the underlying genes, due to social conditions, make the body and mental illness more susceptible.
  • In some cases, infections in children may lead to mental illness – hence there may be a subset of people where the immune system plays an important role in the development of mental illness.
  • Perhaps a "weak" mana leads to more infections.

According to P.A. Jeppieson, the study suggests that we need more research in the field, so that we can get a better understanding of disease mechanisms.

She asserted that suggesting concrete prevention efforts based on a new study is still very early.


O Kohler-Forceburg et al .: "National Studies in Denmark of Association of Drugs and Psychiatric Disorders Treatment in Children and Adolescents," and Joma Psychiatry 2018, DOI: 10.1001 / JAM Psychiatry. Summary of 2018.3428

© Translated by Lars Nygaard for research.

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