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The immune system's role in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders has been the subject of research for many decades. Despite suggestive evidence from genetic, epidemiologic, and immunologic studies, those findings did not translate into clinical practice. Recent recognition of antibody-mediated central nervous system (CNS) disorders has fueled the search for a subgroup of patients with an antibody-mediated psychiatric illness. This chapter focuses on the current understanding of autoimmune CNS disorders and how they may be relevant to psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia and autism. We review the results provided by antibody screening in psychiatric patient groups and discuss future directions to establish whether those findings will be meaningful in clinical practice.

Original publication




Journal article


Handb Clin Neurol

Publication Date





269 - 282


autism, autoantibodies, neuropsychiatry, schizophrenia, Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System, Autoimmunity, Humans, Mental Disorders