Schizophrenia and infections: The eyes have it
Torrey, E. F. ,Yolken, R. H.
Schizophrenia Bulletin 2017; 43: 247-252
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The visual tract is prominently involved in schizophrenia, as evidenced by perceptual distortions and a type of nystagmus found in many individuals affected. Genetic explanations for these abnormalities have been suggested. This study proposes an alternate explanation based on infection. Several infectious agents thought to be associated with some cases of schizophrenia are known to cause both infection of the fetus and abnormalities of the eye. Toxoplasma gondii is examined in detail, and rubella, cytomegalovirus, varicellazoster virus, and herpes simplex virus more briefly. Careful ophthalmic assessments, including funduscopy and direct examination of tissues for infectious agents, will clarify the role of such agents in ocular aspects of schizophrenia.