Abstract

The incidence of mental health disorders in adolescents continues to rise. The cause of the
increase in mental illness is multifactorial, including both environmental and biological causes. To
investigate the latter, ten adolescents at a psychiatric residential treatment center in Colorado with the
DSM-5 diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD), of whom seven were additionally diagnosed with
generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), were chosen at random for further serologic study. Testing revealed
exposure to group A Streptococcus (GAS) in 3 of 10 (30%); Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) in 2 of 10
(20%); and Bartonella spp. in 3 of 10 (30%). In addition, 9 of 10 (90%) subjects had abnormal
Cunningham Panels, which measures levels of antineuronal antibodies that have been associated with
psychiatric disturbances. Given the degree of psychological dysfunction in these adolescents requiring
intensive residential treatment, this case series lends support to the hypothesis that exposure to infectious
agents may play a role, perhaps by autoimmune mechanisms, in the significant and ongoing rise in the
rate of neuropsychiatric illness in adolescents. This preliminary report adds to this premise and requires
further investigation.

How to Cite
A. KINDERLEHRER, NANCY BROWN, Daniel. Microbial Induced Autoimmune Inflammation as a Cause of Mental Illness in Adolescents: A Case Series. Global Journal of Medical Research, [S.l.], mar. 2021. ISSN 2249-4618. Available at: <https://medicalresearchjournal.org/index.php/GJMR/article/view/2377>. Date accessed: 15 may 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.34257/GJMRAVOL21IS1PG1.


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