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"Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects how people act, think, and perceive reality. It is often very difficult to treat because it has many different causes and symptoms. In a study published last month in Cell Reports Medicine, researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have identified an autoantibody—a protein that is produced by the immune system to attach to a specific substance from the individual’s own body, rather than to a foreign substance like a virus or bacteria—..."

Autoimmunity has been shown to be the basis of an ever-increasing number of human diseases. Schizophrenia shares a number of genetic features with these autoimmune diseases and therefore could be an autoimmune disease itself. Several lines of evidence suggest that overactivity of dopaminergic pathways in some areas of the brain are involved in schizophrenia, but the apparent absence of an increase in dopamine turnover suggests that this hyperactivity could be mediated by a dopamine agonist rather than by dopamine itself.

The mechanism of inflammation of the immune system, for example, such circulatory markers as the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and mean platelet volume (MPV), has been shown in many studies to be associated with schizophrenia. In addition, it has been shown that the cannabidiol component reduces the activation of the acquired immune system. This study examined the differences in the levels of NLR and MPV among schizophrenia patients with cannabis use versus those without.

Just one moderate dose of psilocybinopens in a new tab or window (0.215 mg/kg body weight) -- commonly known as magic mushrooms -- was associated with a 13-point drop in depressive symptom severity versus placebo, lasting at least 2 weeks. (eClinicalMedicine)

Parental leave from work for postpartum mothers, especially paid leave for a minimum of 2 to 3 months, was protective against poor mental healthopens in a new tab or window. (Lancet Public Health)

Research findings supporting the use of antipsychotic medication for acute treatment of schizophrenia are relatively consistent and undisputed. However, the rationale for recommending long-term antipsychotic medication treatment - the current standard of care treatment strategy-- is unclear. A controversial hypothesis proposed recently suggests people with schizophrenia who are exposed to long-term treatment with antipsychotic medications have worse outcomes than people with schizophrenia who are not exposed to these medications. 

Psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and mescaline exhibit intense effects on the human brain and behaviour. In recent years, there has been a surge in studies investigating these drugs because clinical studies have shown that these once banned drugs are well tolerated and efficacious in medically supervised low doses called microdosing. Psychedelics have demonstrated efficacy in treating neuropsychiatric maladies such as difficult to treat anxiety, depression, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, suicidal ideation, posttraumatic stress disorder, and also in treating substance use disorders. 

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