Rodgers Johnson, Pamela E. B.,; Hickling, Frederick W.; Irons, Aggrey B.; Johnson, B. K.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Retroviruses and schizophrenia in Jamaica
Molecular and Chemical Neuropathology
Date of Publication
Reports of an 18-fold higher incidence of schizophrenia among second-generation Afro-Caribbeans, and especially Jamaican migrants in the United Kingdom were soon called an epidemic of schizophrenia, with the inference that a novel virus, likely to be perinatally transmitted, was a possible etiological agent. This intriguing observation led to the exploration of a possible link with human T-cell lympotropic virus type one (HTLV-I), because it is a virus that is endemic in the Caribbean Island, is perinatally transmitted, known to be neuropathogenic, and the cause of a chronic myelopathy tropical spastic paraparesis/HTLV-I associated myelopathy. Inpatients at the Bellevue Mental Hospital, Kingston, Jamaica were examined and standard serological tests for retroviruses HTLV-I and HTLV-II and HIV-I and HIV-II on 201 inpatients who fulfilled ICD-9 and DSM II-R criteria for schizophrenia were done. The results produced important negative data, since the seropositivity rates for HTLV-I, the most likely pathogen, were no greater than the seropositivity range for HTLV-I carriers in this island population, indicating the HTLV-I and the other retroviruses tested do not play a primary etiological role in Jamaican schizophrenics....