Advertisement

The Virogene Hypothesis of Psychosis

Current Status
  • Timothy J. Crow

Abstract

The viral hypothesis of psychosis has its origin in the concept that there are major environmental determinants of the onset of psychosis, and in observations that schizophrenic psychoses sometimes occur in relation to infective illness. Thus, on the basis of the psychoses seen in association with the influenza epidemic of 1918, both Menninger (1928) and Goodall (1932) proposed that schizophrenia might be due to a virus. If, as seems probable, these postinfluenzal psychoses were a direct manifestation of infection with the influenza virus, this would demonstrate that schizophrenia-like illnesses can be caused by a viral encephalitis. The major question at issue is whether schizophrenia as it commonly occurs could be due to an as yet unidentified agent, perhaps interacting with a genetic predisposition.

Keywords

Viral Encephalitis Pseudoautosomal Region Structural Brain Change Prion Protein Gene Cerebral Asymmetry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Angst, J., and Scharfetter, C., 1989, Familial aspects of bipolar schizoaffective disorder, in: Affective Disorders, World Psychiatric Association Symposium, Athens, 1985, Abstract S104.Google Scholar
  2. Angst, J., and Scharfetter, C., 1990, Schizoaffective Psychosen. Ein Nosologischer Aergernis, in Affective Psychoses (R. J. Witkowski, ed.), Schattauer Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  3. Angst, J., Scharfetter, C., and Stassen, H. H., 1983, Classification of schizo-affective patients by multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis, Psychiatr. Clin. 16: 254–264.Google Scholar
  4. Annett, M., 1985, Left, Right, Hand and Brain: The Right Shift Theory, Erlbaum, London.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, H. F., Ridley, R. M., Crow, T. J., Bloxham, C., Parry, R. P., and Tyrre11, D. A. J., 1983, An investigation of the effects of intracerebral injection in the marmoset of cytopathic csf from patients with schizophrenia and neurological disease, Psycho!. Med. 13: 449–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker, H. F., Ridley, R. M., and Crow, T. J., 1985, Experimental transmission of an autosomal dominant spongiform encephalopathy: Does the infectious agent originate in the human genome ? Br. Med. J. 291: 299–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baker, H. F., Ridley, R. M., Crow, T. J., and Tyrrell, D. A. J., 1989, A re-investigation of the behavioural effects of intracerebral injection in marmosets of cytopathic csf from patients with schizophrenia or neurological disease, Psycho!. Med. 19: 325–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bogerts, B., Meertz, E., and Schonfeldt-Bausch, R., 1985, Basal ganglia and limbic system pathology in schizophrenia, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 42: 784–791.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Broca, P., 1861, Perte de la parole. Ramollisement chronique et déstruction partielle du lobe antérieur gauche du cerveau, Bull. Soc. Anthropol. 2: 219–235.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, R., Colter, N., Corsellis, J. A. N., Crow, T. J., Frith, C. D., Jagoe, R., Johnstone, E. C., and Marsh, L., 1986, Post-mortem evidence of structural brain changes in schizophrenia, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 43: 36–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burgoyne, P S., 1986, Mammalian X and Y crossover, Nature 319: 258–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Collinge, J., Boccio, A., DeLisi, L. E., Johnstone, E. C., Lofthouse, R., Owen, F., Poulter, M., Risby, D., Shah, T., and Crow, T. J., 1989a, Evidence for a pseudoautosomal locus for schizophrenia: A sibling pair analysis, Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics 51: 978.Google Scholar
  13. Collinge, J. S., Harding, A. E., Owen, F., Poulter, M., Lofthouse, R., Boughey, A. M., Shah, T., and Crow, T. J., 1989b, Diagnosis of Gerstmann-Straussler syndrome in familial dementia with prion protein gene analysis, Lancet 2: 15–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Collinge, J., DeLisi, L. E., Boccio, A., Johnstone, E. C. Lowe, A., Larkin, C., Leach, M. Lofthouse, R., Owen, F., Poulter, M., Shah, T., Walsh, C. and Crow, T. J., 1991, Evidence for a pseudoantosomal locus for schizophenia using the method of affected sibling pairs, Br. J. Psychiatry 158 (in press).Google Scholar
  15. Crow, T. J., 1983, Is schizophrenia an infectious disease? Lancet 1: 173–175.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crow, T. J., 1984, A re-evaluation of the viral hypothesis: Is psychosis the result of retroviral integration at a site close to the cerebral dominance gene? Br. J. Psychiatry 145: 243–253.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crow, T. J., 1986, The continuum of psychosis and its implication for the structure of the gene, Br. J. Psychiatry 149: 419–429.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crow, T. J., 1987, Pseudoautosomal locus for psychosis? Lancet 2: 1532.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crow, T. J., 1988a, Sex chromosomes and psychosis: The case for a pseudoautosomal locus, Br. J. Psychiatry 153: 675–683.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Crow, T. J., 1988b, The viral theory of schizophrenia, Br. J. Psychiatry 153: 564–566.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Crow, T. J., 1989, Pseudoautosomal locus for the cerebral dominance gene, Lancet 2: 339–340.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Crow, T. J., and Done, D. J., 1986, Age of onset of schizophrenia in siblings: A test of the contagion hypothesis, Psychiatry Res. 18: 107–117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Crow, T. J., Colter, N., Brown, R., Bruton, C. J., and Johnstone, E. C., 1988, Lateralised asymmetry of temporal horn enlargement in schizophrenia, Schizophrenia Res. 1: 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Crow, T. J., Ball, J., Bloom, S. R., Brown, R., Bruton, C. J., Colter, N., Frith, C. D., Johnstone, E. C., Owens, D. G. C., and Roberts, G. W., 1989a, Schizophrenia as an anomaly of development of cerebral asymmetry, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 46: 1145–1150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Crow, T. J., DeLisi, L. E., and Johnstone, E. C., 1989b, Concordance by sex in sibling pairs with schizophrenia is paternally inherited: Evidence for a pseudoautosomal locus, Br. J. Psychiatry 154: 92–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Crow, T. J., Colter, N., Frith, C. D., Johnstone, E. C., and Owens, D. G. C., 1989c, Developmental arrest of cerebral asymmetries in early onset schizophrenia, Psychiatry Res. 29: 247–253.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dax, M., 1865, Lesions de la moitié gauche de l’éncephale coincident avec l’oublie des signes de la pensée. Lu a congres meridionel tenu a Montpellier en 1836, Gaz. Hebd. Med. Chir. 11: 259–260.Google Scholar
  28. DeLisi, L. E., Reiss, A. L., White, B. J., and Gershon, E. S., 1988, Cytogenetic studies of males with schizophrenia: Screening for the fragile X chromosome and other chromosomal abnormalities, Schizophrenia Res. 1: 277–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Forssman, H., 1970, The mental implications of sex chromosome aberrations, Br. J. Psychiatry 117: 353–363.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gershon, E. S., Hamovit, J., Guroff, J. J., Dibble, E., Leckmann, J. F., Sceery, W., Targum, S. D., Nurnberger, J. I., Goldin, L. R., and Bunney, W. E., 1982, A family study of schizo-affective, bipolar I, bipolar II, unipolar and normal control patients, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 39: 1157–1167.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gershon, E. S., DeLisi, L. E., Hamovit, J., Numberger, J. 1., Maxwell, M. E., Schreiber, J., Dauphinais, D., Dingman, C. W, and Guroff, J. J., 1988, A controlled family study of chronic psychoses: Schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 45: 328–336.Google Scholar
  32. Geschwind, N., and Levitsky, W., 1968, Left-right asymmetry in temporal speech region, Science 161: 186–187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Goodall, E., 1932, The exciting cause of certain states, at present classified under schizophrenia by psychiatrists, may be infection, J. Ment. Sci. 78: 746–755.Google Scholar
  34. Hare, E. H., 1983, Was insanity on the increase? Br. J. Psychiatry 142: 439–455.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Haug, J. O., 1962, Pneumoencephalographic studies in mental disease, Acta Psychiatr. Scand. 38 (Suppl): 165.Google Scholar
  36. Hsiao, K., Baker, H. F., Crow, T. J., Poulter, M., Owen, F., Terwilliger, J. D., Westaway, D., Ott, J., and Prusiner, S. B., 1989, Linkage of a prion protein mis-sense variant to Gerstmann-Straussler syndrome, Nature 338: 342–345.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Johnstone, E. C., Crow, T. J., Frith, C. D., Husband, J., and ‘Creel, L., 1976, Cerebral ventricular size and cognitive impairment in chronic schizophrenia, Lancet 2: 924–926.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Johnstone, E. C., Crow, T. J., Frith, C. D., Husband, J., and ‘Creel, L., 1976, Cerebral ventricular size and cognitive impairment in chronic schizophrenia, Lancet 2: 924–926.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Karlsson, J. L., 1970, The rate of schizophrenia in foster-reared close relatives of schizophrenic index cases, Biol. Psychiatry 2: 285–290.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Katzir, N., Rechavi, G., Cohen, J. B., Unger, T, Simoni, F., Segul, S., Cohen, D., and Givol, D., 1985, “Retroposon” insertion into the cellular oncogene c-myc in canine transmissible venereal tumour, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 82:1054–1058.Google Scholar
  41. Kuff, E. L., Feenstra, A., Lueders, K., Smith, L., Hawley, R., Hozumi, N., and Shulman, M., 1983, Intracistemal A-particle genes as movable elements in the mouse genome, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 80: 1992–1996.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leader, 1987, A continuum of psychosis? Lancet 2: 889–890.Google Scholar
  43. McManus, I. C., 1985, Handedness, language dominance and aphasia: A genetic model, Psychol. Med. Suppl. 8: 1–40.Google Scholar
  44. Menninger, K. A., 1928, The schizophrenia syndrome as the product of infectious disease, Arch. Neurol. Psychiatry 20: 464–481.Google Scholar
  45. Mott, F. W, 1911, Hereditary aspects of nervous and mental disease, Br. Med. J. 2: 1013–1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Murphy, W. H., Nawrocki, J. F., and Pease, L. R., 1983, Age-dependent paralytic viral infection in C58 mice: Possible implications for human neurologic disease, Prog. Brain Res. 59: 291–303.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Netley, C. T., 1986, Summary overview of behavioural development in individuals with neonatally identified X and Y aneuploidy, Birth Defects 22: 293–306.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Netley, C. T., and Rovet, J., 1982, Atypical hemispheric lateralization in Tùrner syndrome subjects, Cortex 18: 377–384.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Netley, C. T, and Rovet, J., 1987, Relations between a dermatoglyphic measure, hemispheric specialization, and intellectual abilities in 47,XXY males, Brain & Cognition 6: 153–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Owen, F., Poulter, M., Lofthouse, R., Collinge, J., Crow, T. J., Risby, R., Baker, H. F, Ridley, R. M., Hsiao, K., and Prusiner, S. B., 1989, Insertion in prion protein gene in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Lancet 1: 51–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Owen, F., Poulter, M., Shah, T, Collinge, J., Lofthouse, R., Baker, H., Ridley, R., McVey, J., and Crow, T J., 1990, An in-frame insertion in the prior protein gene in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Mol. Brain Res. 7: 273–276.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Owens, D. G. C., Johnstone, E. C., Crow, T. J., Frith, C. D., Jagoe, J. R., and Kreel, L., 1985, Cerebral ventricular enlargement in schizophrenia: Relationship to the disease process and its clinical correlates, Psychol. Med. 15: 27–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Paulson, K. E., Doka, N., Schmid, G. W, Misra, R., Schindler, C. W, Rush, M. G., Kadyk, L., and Leinwand, L., 1985, A transposon-like element in human DNA, Nature 316: 359–361.Google Scholar
  54. Leinwand, L., 1985, A transposon-like element in human DNA, Nature 316: 359–361.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Penrose, L. S., 1942, Auxiliary genes for determining sex as contributory causes of mental illness, J. Ment. Sci. 88: 308–316.Google Scholar
  56. Rosenthal, D., 1962, Familial concordance by sex with respect to schizophrenia, Psychol. Bull. 59: 401–421.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sartorius, N., Jablensky, A., Korten, A., Ernberg, G., Anker, M., Cooper, J. E., and Day, R., 1986, Early manifestations and first contact incidence of schizophrenia in different cultures, Psychol. Med. 16: 909–928.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sartorius, N., Jablensky, A., Korten, A., Ernberg, G., Anker, M., Cooper, J. E., and Day, R., 1986, Early manifestations and first contact incidence of schizophrenia in different cultures, Psychol. Med. 16: 909–928.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Taylor, G.R., Carter, G.I., and Crow, T.J., 1987, Cytotoxic csf from neurological and neuropsychiatric patients, in Viruses, Immunity and Mental Disorders (E. Kurstak, Z. J. Lipowski, and P. V. Morozov, eds.), Plenum Press, New York, pp. 161–171.Google Scholar
  60. Teich, N., 1982, Endogenous viruses, in: RNA Tumour Viruses, 2nd ed. (R. Weiss, N. Teich, H. Varmus, and J. Coffin, eds.), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., pp. 1109– 1203.Google Scholar
  61. Torrey, E. F., 1980, Schizophrenia and Civilization, Aronson, New York.Google Scholar
  62. Tyrrell, D. A. J., Crow, T. J., Parry, R. P., Johnstone, E. C., and Ferrier, I. N., 1979, Possible virus in schizophrenia and some neurological disorders, Lancet 1: 839–841.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Weinberger, D. R., Torrey, E. F., Neophytides, A. N., and Wyatt, R. H., 1979, Lateral cerebral ventricular enlargement in chronic schizophrenia, Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 36: 735–739.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Crow
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Psychiatry, Clinical Research CentreNorthwick Park HospitalHarrow, MiddlesexUK

Personalised recommendations