Source: Futurity 

A new study reveals that patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders are three times more likely to have Bartonella DNA in their blood than those without these disorders, suggesting a possible link between vector-borne pathogens and mental illness. Bartonella, typically transmitted by fleas, lice, and ticks, includes species like Bartonella henselae, known for cat scratch disease. Researchers at Columbia University analyzed blood from 116 individuals, finding Bartonella DNA in 43% of those with psychosis compared to 14% in controls.

This study builds on prior research indicating increased inflammation in psychotic patients. Techniques like immunofluorescence assays and digital droplet PCR were used to detect and identify Bartonella species. The findings, consistent with a 2020 study, underscore the need for further research to explore Bartonella as a potential cause of psychiatric symptoms. However, the study emphasizes that association does not imply causation, and serologic tests alone may be misleading.

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