International – Childhood Infections May Trigger Mental Illness

A large Danish population-based study provides strong evidence of an association between childhood infection, antibiotic treatment, and subsequent neuropsychiatric disorders.

Investigators found that the risk of developing a mental disorder increased by more than 80% after hospitalization for severe infection. The use of anti-infectives, specifically antibiotics, to treat the infection was associated with about a 40% increased risk for a subsequent mental disorder.

« Our findings linking infections with mental disorders in the developing brain, despite several limitations that make causal links impossible, add more knowledge to this growing field showing that there exists an intimate connection between the body and the brain, » first author Ole Kohler-Forsberg, MD, from the Psychosis Research Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, told Medscape Medical News…