The Potential of Immune Biomarkers to Advance Personalized Medicine Approaches for Schizophrenia
Chan, Man Kuan
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
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Cox, D., Chan, M. K., & Bahn, S. (2015). The Potential of Immune Biomarkers to Advance Personalized Medicine Approaches for Schizophrenia. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 203 393-399. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000000289
Molecular profiling studies have helped increase the understanding of the immune processes thought to be involved in the etiology and pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Current therapeutic interventions with first- and second-generation antipsychotics are suboptimal. Poor response rates and debilitating side effects often lead to poor treatment compliance. This highlights the pressing need to identify more effective treatments as well as objective biomarker based tests, which can help predict treatment response and identify diagnostic subpopulations. Such tests could enable early detection of patients who will benefit from particular therapeutic interventions. In this review, we discuss studies relating to dysfunctions of the immune system in patients with schizophrenia and the effects of antipsychotic medication on the molecular components of these systems. Immune system dysfunction may in part be related to genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, but there is substantial evidence that a wide range of environmental factors ranging from exposure to infectious agents such as influenza and Toxoplasma gondii to HPA axis dysfunction play an important role in the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia. Ongoing research efforts, testing therapeutic efficacy of anti-inflammatory agents used as add-on medications are also discussed. From a therapeutic perspective, these represent the initial steps toward novel treatment approaches and more effective patient care in the field of mental health.
schizophrenia, biomarkers, antipsychotic medication, personalized medicine
The authors gratefully acknowledge support by the Stanley Medical Research Institute.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000000289
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/247627