Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Possible association of schizophrenia with a disturbance in prostaglandin metabolism: a physiological hypothesis

W. Feldberga1 c1

a1 National Institute for Medical Research, London


Schizophrenia may be associated with increased prostaglandin synthesis in certain parts of the brain. This hypothesis is based on the following findings: (1) Catalepsy, which is the nearest equivalent in animals to human catatonia, develops in cats when prostaglandin E1 is injected into the cerebral ventricles and when during endotoxin or lipid A fever the prostaglandin E2 level in cisternal c.s.f. rises to high levels; however, when fever and prostaglandin level are brought down by non-steroid anti-pyretics which inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, catalepsy disappears as well. (2) Febrile episodes are a genuine syndrome of schizophrenia.


c1 Address for correspondence: Professor W. Feldberg, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA.