Immuno-psychiatry: An agenda for clinical practice and innovative research

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Abstract

Background: The diagnostic scheme for psychiatric disorders is currently based purely on descriptive nomenclature given that biomarkers subtypes and clearly defined causal mechanisms are lacking for the vast majority of disorders. The emerging field of "immuno-psychiatry" has the potential to widen the exploration of a mechanism-based nosology, possibly leading to the discovery of more effective personalised treatment strategies. Discussion: Disturbances in immuno-inflammatory and related systems have been implicated in the aetiology, pathophysiology, phenomenology and comorbidity of several psychiatric disorders, including major mood disorders and schizophrenia. A fundamental challenge in their clinical management is to identify bio-signatures that might indicate risk, state, trait, prognosis or theragnosis. Here, we provide the rationale for a clinical and research agenda to refine future clinical practice and conceptual views, and to delineate pathways toward innovative treatment discovery. Conclusion: The development of bio-signatures will allow clinicians to tailor interventions to the abovementioned biomarker subtypes - a major translational goal for research in this field.

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Leboyer, M., Berk, M., Yolken, R. H., Tamouza, R., Kupfer, D., & Groc, L. (2016). Immuno-psychiatry: An agenda for clinical practice and innovative research. BMC Medicine, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-016-0712-5

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