Viral causes of psychiatric disease.

Postgrad Med J. 1978 November; 54(637): 763–767.
PMCID: PMC2425341

Viral causes of psychiatric disease.


Current evidence on the role of viruses in the causation of psychiatric illness is reviewed. Herpes simplex encephalitis is relatively well defined but a wider role for this virus, particularly in relation to affective disorders, is suggested by some Scandinavian surveys of antibody titres in psychiatric populations. The extent to which influenzal illnesses and infectious mononucleosis may lead to neurotic, and occasional psychotic, episodes is the subject of controversy. The clinical literature is reviewed on the occurrence of encephalitis-like illnesses with prominent psychiatric and behavioural features. It is pointed out that no reliable criterion exists for differentiating these illnesses from such psychiatric syndromes as schizophrenia. It is suggested that neglect of this borderland area, and perhaps preconceptions concerning the features of ‘organic’ and ‘functional’ psychiatric disease, may have led to an underestimate of the possible role of viruses in the causation of psychiatric disease.

Click here for full article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s