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Candida Linked to Mental Illness


Candida Linked to Mental Illness

New research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the U.S has discovered that some people suffering from Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder have had a history of the yeast infection Candida Albicans .Their results were published in NPJ Schizophrenia.

“It’s far too early to single out Candida infection as a cause of mental illness or vice versa,” says Emily Severance, Ph.D., assistant professor of paediatrics and member of the Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “However, most Candida infections can be treated in their early stages, and clinicians should make it a point to look out for these infections in their patients with mental illness.”

“Although we cannot demonstrate a direct link between Candida infection and physiological brain processes, our data show that some factor associated with Candida infection, and possibly the organism itself, plays a role in affecting the memory of women with schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder, and this is an avenue that needs to be further explored,” says Severance. “Because Candida is a natural component of the human body microbiome, yeast overgrowth or infection in the digestive tract, for example, may disrupt the gut-brain axis. This disruption in conjunction with an abnormally functioning immune system could collectively disturb those brain processes that are important for memory.”

The researchers in the Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology are examining whether bacteria or viruses could cause some mental disorders.  Doctors took blood samples from 808 people aged between 18 and 65 years for the study.  The group consisted of 277 people without mental illness, 261 people with Schizophrenia and 270 people with Bipolar disorder.

They looked for the amount of IgG class antibodies which represent a yeast infection.  The scientists said that overall there wasn’t a direct link between Candida and mental illness but that 26 percent of men with Schizophrenia had a yeast infection, compared to 14 percent of men who didn’t have Candida or Schizophrenia.  Almost 26.4 percent of men with Bipolar disorder had Candida antibodies present in their blood, in comparison to just 14 percent of men without the mental illness.

They discovered that women had a higher incidence of Candida Albicans than men, but little difference was found in women with Schizophrenia at 31.3 percent or without it at 29.4 percent. The researchers also tested women’s memories and it showed that those affected by Schizophrenia or Bipolar who previously had candida, scored lower on their test than women who never had the infection. This was particularly noticeable in Schizophrenic women who had the yeast infection.  They scored on average 11 points lower on their immediate memory test than women without the mental illness or Candida.  On the delayed memory test women with Candida scored 15 points less than those who didn’t have the infection.

Severance is going to investigate the gut-brain relationship in mice to test for a cause and effect connection with Candida and how it affects their memory.

Symptoms of Candida

Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus

Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia

Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea

Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis

Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog

Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes

Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression

Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching

Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears

Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings

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