Candida Yeast Infection Is Linked With Psychiatric Disorders And Memory Impairment

First Posted: May 06, 2016 04:40 AM EDT

Researchers from John Hopkins Medicine discovered that Candida yeast infections occurred more in a group of men with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia compared to those without these disorders. They also found out that women with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia who had Candida yeast infection did worse on a standard memory test compared to women who had no infection.

Science Daily reports that the study was printed online in NPJ Schizophrenia on May 4. The researchers linked the Candida yeast infection with mental illness. On the other hand, they caution that their findings do not form a cause and effect relationship between yeast infection and mental illness but may support more thorough examination of the role of lifestyles, gut-brain connection and immune system weakness, which are the factors of memory impairment and psychiatric disorders.

The study involved a group of 808 people with ages between 18 and 65. The group was comprised of 270 people with bipolar disorder, 261 with schizophrenia and 277 in a control group without the mental disorder. The researchers took their blood samples and used them to quantify the amount of lgC class antibodies to Candida. Then, they looked for patterns that suggested relations between infection and mental illness.

The results showed that in men, about 26 percent of those with schizophrenia had Candida antibodies, compared to 14 percent of those men in a control group. The researchers also found out that with women with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia who had Candida antibodies had lower scores on the memory test compared to those who were not infected.

Emily Severance, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and member of the Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine said that although they cannot demonstrate a direct link between psychological brain processes and Candida infection, their data shows that some factors associated with Candida infection, and possibly the organism itself plays a role in affecting the memory of women with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. She further said that this need to be further explored.

Candidiasis or also known as Candida yeast infection results when there is an overgrowth of yeasts in some parts of the body. These can live in some areas of the bodies. They become numerous and cause infections specifically in moist or warm areas. These include the nailbed infections, skin that includes diaper rash, thrush or infection of tissues of the oral cavity, beneath large breasts and vaginal yeast infections.

The treatment of the infection can be cured at home with the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or prescription medications within a week. On the other hand, if the infections cause your immune system weakens, you must consult a doctor right away.

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