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Yeast Infection, Candida Triggers Mental Illness, Linked To Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

May 10, 2016 04:57 AM EDT

A yeast infection known as Candida may trigger mental illness, study finds.

A group of scientists from John Hopkins Medicine warned public that a common yeast infection known as Candida could cause schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Study found a link between a history of Candida infections and higher rates of the mental illnesses, Daily Mail reports.

This yeast infection is also known as thrush or candiasis. According to study, the history of this infection was more common among men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, unlike those without infection. Meanwhile, researchers noted that women with mental health conditions and positive for Candida at the same time have a worse standard memory test result than women with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who had no history of thrush infection.

The study also found 26 per cent of 261 men with schizophrenia were producing immune-system antibodies designed to fight a Candida infection, compared to 14 per cent of those without the condition.

The source of this study, Johns Hopkins Medicine, described Candida or Candida albicans as a yeastlike fungus that can be found in small amounts in human digestive tracts. It overgrows in warm, moist environments, thus causing burning, itching symptoms, thrush or rashes in the throat or mouth.

Belfast Telegraph reports that Professor Emily Severance, one of the researchers of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that although they had found a link between the yeast infection and mental illness, it was "far too early to single out Candida infection as a cause of mental illness or vice versa."

"However, most Candida infections can be treated in their early stages, and clinicians should make it a point to look out for these infections in their patients with mental illness," she added.

Despite the team can not demonstrate a direct link between Candida infection and physiological brain processes, the team is confident with their data because it shows some factors associated with Candida.

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