The latest research suggests that 9% of people with psychosis have antibodies in their blood which could be the cause of their illness.
Our immune system normally protects us against infections. It does this by making antibodies which fight incoming infections. Antibodies are proteins which the body makes to fight infections. However, for a very small number of people, some antibodies (called anti-neuronal antibodies) start to attack healthy brain tissue causing swelling. This can result in symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and paranoid feelings. There is some evidence that getting rid of these antibodies may improve the symptoms of psychosis.
Antibody mediated psychosis is very similar to a condition called encephalitis. The conditions are so similar that some believe that antibody mediated psychosis might be a specific type of encephalitis (the term ‘anti-NMDA encephalitis is sometimes used in place of ‘antibody mediated psychosis).
Below is a booklet which provides detailed, but easy-to-read information about antibody mediated psychosis. It has been developed by Sarah Galloway who has lived experience of antibody mediated psychosis.
If you are unable to view the booklet, you can also download it here.