Some anti-inflammatory drugs may improve the efficacy of existing schizophrenia treatments, according to a group of researchers from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Researchers have known the immune system is linked to certain psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but up until now there was no conclusive evidence that helping the immune system would be effective.
”The picture on anti-inflammatory agents in schizophrenia has been mixed, but this analysis pulls together the data from 26 double-blind randomized controlled trials, and provides significant evidence that some (but not all) anti-inflammatory agents can improve symptoms of patients with schizophrenia,” said lead researcher Iris Sommer, Ph.D., of the Utrecht Psychiatry Department.
For the study, researchers did a comprehensive meta-analysis of all studies done on the effects of adding anti-inflammatories to antipsychotic medication. After conducting the analysis, it led them to conclude that anti-inflammatory medicines, such as aspirin, can add to the effective treatment of schizophrenia.
“The study makes us realize that we need to be selective about which anti-inflammatory we use,” Somner said. “Now that we know that some effects are replicated, we need to refine our methods to see if we can turn it into a real treatment.”