The research behind this is not new - its been around for over a decade, and is well accepted in the research community. Its finally getting more press in books and magazines which is good.
The theory that mental illness may be caused by infection sounds shocking, but you say this is something we’ve known for a long time.
There’s really no question that some diseases are caused by mental illness, we’re just not in the habit of thinking of them that way. Rabies [which causes seizures, paralysis, confusion] and syphilis [which causes loss of muscle control or “paresis”] are two good examples. So we already know that some diseases are caused by infection but the big question is whether or not they are diseases that cause our society a lot of problems, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression.
Your book uncovers some cutting-edge research that shows infection may be a factor in these cases. How big of a number are we talking?
The educated guess I got from researchers was consistent: they estimated that 10-15 percent of mental diseases are caused by infection. That number may not seem that significant at first, but if we could prevent or address that amount of mental illness without long-term medical regimens that would be a huge gain.
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