Immune System Affects Behavioral Disorders

Until now, considering the immune system as a contributing factor in behavioral disorders was all but unheard of. New experiments are showing a direct link between the two.

“We’re showing there is a direct relationship between a psychiatric disorder and the immune system, specifically cells named microglia that are derived from bone marrow” and exist in the brain, explained Mario Capecchi, a Nobel winning professor of human genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

“There’s been an inference. But nobody has previously made a direct connection between the two.” “A lot of people are going to find it amazing,” continued Capecchi. “That’s the surprise: bone marrow can correct a behavioral defect.”

Capecchi went on to explain that these findings may inspire researchers “to think about potential new immune-based therapies for psychiatric disorders.” However, “I’m not proposing we should do bone marrow transplants for any psychiatric disorder” in humans.

Instead Capecchi thinks “it’s a very good model for obsessive-compulsive disorder.”