COVID with Schizophrenia Proves to be a Fatal Combination for Many

April 04, 2022

New Data Indicates that Immune System Dysfunction Could be Culprit for Deadly Outcome 


Shocking new research published in JAMA Psychiatry shows that individuals with schizophrenia were nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as the general population. This risk of dying from the virus is higher than those with diabetes, heart disease, or any other condition besides older age. Interestingly, the disparate death rates in people with schizophrenia did not have to do with poor physical health or difficulties accessing health care. All participants (with or without the disorder) in the study received care from the same doctors in the same health care system. The study’s lead author, Katlyn Nemani, suggests that immune system dysfunction could be at the heart of this deadly combination.  She believes that the immune system dysfunction that causes severe COVID in people with schizophrenia could also drive their psychotic symptoms. If correct, this points to schizophrenia not only being a brain disorder, but a disease of the immune system. Nemani sheds more light on her study’s intriguing hypothesis by adding, “This is a really rare opportunity to study the potential relationship between the immune system and psychiatric illness, by looking at the effects of a single virus at a single point in time. It could potentially lead to interventions that improve medical conditions that are associated with the disease, but also our understanding of the illness itself and what we should be doing to treat it.” In the long term, this study may lead to new immunological treatments that could work better at treating schizophrenia than current antipsychotic medications. It is worth pointing out that people with autism are three and a half times more likely to also have schizophrenia compared to those not on the spectrum.  


Original Article 

Original Study Abstract 

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons