Some patients sectioned with conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder could instead have a treatable immune disorder, Oxford University scientists have found.
Currently, people experiencing psychosis are often thought to be suffering from mental disorder and are treated as such with medication and psychotherapy.
But the research, published yesterday in the Lancet psychiatry journal, suggests that some of these patients could in fact be treated with immunosuppressant drugs.
Scientists studied 228 patients who had visited mental health service sites across England having experienced psychosis for the first time.
They took blood samples from each of the patients and found that three per cent of them had antibodies that attack the NMDA receptor, which allows brain cells to communicate with each other.
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