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August 1984

A Search for Cytomegalovirus and Herpes Viral Antigen in Brains of Schizophrenic Patients

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(8):795-801. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790190069009

• The peroxidase-antiperoxidase method was employed to search for evidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) or herpes simplex virus (HSV) antigen in the brains of 25 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, 25 nonschizophrenic neuropsychiatric patients, and 16 nonpsychiatric control subjects. Brain specimens from patients with acute CMV and herpes encephalitis served as positive controls. Although early results with low-titer CMV antisera suggested immunoreactivity in specific brain regions of a small number of schizophrenic and control cases, the present studies with high-titer anti-CMV IgG did not give a positive immunoperoxidase reaction in sections from the basal forebrain, hypothalamus, or midbrain. Scattered neurons in the lateral vestibular nucleus and hippocampus showed questionable staining with CMV IgG in one schizophrenic patient and none in control subjects. No schizophrenic or control cases demonstrated an immune reaction to HSV antisera.