Does the Flu Cause Schizophrenia?

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Video Description

"This is a question puzzling physiologists worldwide, and a correlation which has been documented through countless studies. This video investigates the newly observed correlation between prenatal influenza exposure and adult schizophrenia onset. Primary research indicates the possible cause of this correlation may be the mother or fetus’ immune response in reaction to the virus itself. Please see below references for more information on mechanisms and evidence observed.

This video was made by Elise Granton, Roshni Patel, Nadine Islam, Omar Shawaf and Erin Harvey

Copyright McMaster University 2016


Aronsson, F., Lannebo, C., Paucer, M., Brask, J., Kristensson, K., Karlsson, H. (2002). Persistence of viral RNA in the brain of spring to mice infected with influenza A/WSN/33 virus during pregnancy. J NeuroViro. 8:353-357.

Boksa, P. (2008). Naternal infection during pregnancy and schizophrenia. J psychiatry Neurosci. 33(3): 183-185.

Brown, A. S. (2006). Prenatal Infection as a Risk Factor for Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 32(2), 200–202.

Brown, A. S., & Derkits, E. J. (2010). Prenatal Infection and Schizophrenia: A Review of Epidemiologic and Translational Studies. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(3), 261–280.

Ellaithy, A., Younkin, J., González-Maeso, J., & Logothetis, D. E. (2015). Positive allosteric modulators of metabotropic glutamate 2 receptors in schizophrenia treatment. Trends in neurosciences, 38(8), 506-516.

Gilmore, J., Jarskog, L., Vadlamudi, S., Lauder, J. (2004). Prenatal infection and risk for schizophrenia: IL-1b, IL-6, and TNFa inhibit cortical neuron dendrite development. Neuropsychopharm. 29:1221-1229.


Irving, W., James, D., Stephenson, T., Laing, P., Jameson, C., Boon, A., Zambon, M. (2000). Influenza virus infection in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy: a clinical and seroepidemiological study. Brit. J. of Obstet. and Gynaeco. 107: 1282-1289.

Javitt, D. C. (2014). Balancing therapeutic safety and efficacy to improve clinical and economic outcomes in schizophrenia: A clinical overview. American Journal of Managed Care, 20(8), 160-165.

Leweke, F. M., Gerth, C. W., Koethe, D., Klosterkötter, J., Ruslanova, I., Krivogorsky, B., ... & Yolken, R. H. (2004). Antibodies to infectious agents in individuals with recent onset schizophrenia. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 254(1), 4-8.

Lofano, G., Kumar, A., Finco, O., Del Giudice, G., & Bertholet, S. (2015). B cells and functional antibody responses to combat influenza. Immunotherapies and Vaccines, 336.

Torrey, E. F., Miller, J., Rawlings, R., & Yolken, R. H. (1997). Seasonality of births in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a review of the literature.Schizophrenia research, 28(1), 1-38.

van Os J, Kapur S. Schizophrenia. Lancet. 2009;374(9690): 635-645."


"My doctor encourages me to get a part time job. I enjoy cooking so I am thinking about getting a job as a cook."


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