How can a memoir help advance science? Assoc Prof Tom Weickert was already investigating the link between psychosis and brain inflammation when Susannah Cahalan’s book Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness fell into his hands. The book details how her quick descent into psychotic-like symptoms was reversed once she was treated with anti-inflammatories. Susannah’s ‘cure’ provided extra incentive for Assoc Prof Weickert to keep exploring this idea. His current clinical trial aims to identify people with schizophrenia who have signs of inflammation markers in their blood. It is thought that an anti-inflammatory treatment may reduce their symptom severity and restore thinking skills. His research may even have benefits for people with depression or bipolar disorder.
Here, Assoc Prof Weickert talks about schizophrenia, his clinical trial that aims to reduce inflammation and how people can get involved in the trial.