HPV Vaccination May Trigger Rare Autoimmune Brain Disease

According to a new study published in Current Medicinal Chemistry, HPV vaccination may trigger a rare autoimmune brain disease known as anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.

HPV Vaccination May Trigger Rare Autoimmune Brain Disease 1

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HPV Vaccination May Trigger Rare Autoimmune Brain Disease 2

According to a recent study, the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) may cause an uncommon autoimmune brain condition that, in its early stages, is readily confused with psychosis and results in neurological or psychiatric symptoms after immunization.

According to a new study published in Current Medicinal Chemistry, there may be a connection between HPV vaccination and anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis.

An acute autoimmune disease known as anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis occurs when the body produces antibodies that target the brain’s N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. A receptor for the amino acid glutamate is called NMDA. The most prevalent excitatory neurotransmitter secreted by brain nerve cells, glutamate is essential for memory formation and learning.

Anti-NMDA antibodies cause swelling in the brain, also known as encephalitis, and a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms, including movement disorders, impaired consciousness, hallucinations, paranoia, aggression, epilepsy, and speech disorders. These are the same signs that frequently lead to an early misdiagnosis of the illness as psychosis.

The Study

Hsiuying Wang, a statistics professor at National Yang-Ming Chiao Tung University, is the author of the paper. To investigate the connection between immunization and anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, she used microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers.

“Although vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine, do not directly induce autoimmune diseases, they can potentially induce an autoimmune response or worsen pre-existing autoimmune conditions in certain individuals,” Ms. Wang told The Epoch Times.

After conducting a literature search, Ms. Wang found 16 microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers for HPV and investigated biomarkers linked to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. At least four miRNA biomarkers that are shared by the two disorders were found to be common in the analysis.

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry states that miRNAs are helpful biomarkers for cancer and other disorders and regulate a variety of physiological and developmental processes.

The relationship between the miRNA biomarkers linked to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and HPV, as well as other viruses relevant to the condition, was subsequently examined by Ms. Wang using a phylogenetic tree. An illustration of the evolutionary relationships between various organisms is a phylogenetic tree.

When compared to all miRNAs, the study discovered a high degree of similarity between miRNA biomarkers linked to HPV and anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis or related vaccinations.

“While the direct causal connection between HPV and anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is minimal, insights from the microRNA biomarker study underscore the importance of not overlooking the potential link between this condition and HPV vaccination,” Dr. Wang said.

“Therefore, in cases where individuals receiving the HPV vaccine develop psychiatric or neurological symptoms, a diagnosis of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis should be considered after ruling out other complications,” she added.

Association With COVID-19 Vaccines

Researchers who observed anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis in women with ovarian malignancies initially recognized the illness in 2007. Since then, it has emerged as the second most prevalent immune-mediated encephalopathy and has been linked to several viral infections, including COVID-19 and Epstein-Barr. Additionally, it has been linked to vaccinations against COVID-19, H1N1, yellow fever, TdaP-IPV booster, and H1N1, mostly in young women.

The possibility that tumors could cause anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is another noteworthy feature of this condition. Tumors including brain cells have a cross-reactivity with NMDA receptors. Anti-NMDA antibodies have been observed to be related to testicular teratomas, and neuroendocrine, ovarian, and small-cell lung carcinomas.

Researchers describe a girl in her 20s who experienced anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis following her first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination in a case report published in Frontiers in Neurology in 2021. She went to the ER complaining of frequent urination within a week of receiving her vaccination.

Her relatives said that she was experiencing anxiety attacks “increasingly frequently,” sleeplessness, diminished mental acuity, and a “fixation” on having renal illness and irritable bowel syndrome. She also suffered motor dysfunction, a momentary incapacity to understand or speak, and delusions that she had COVID-19 and that her body was “shutting down.” She was released, though, as a physical examination only found tachycardia and hypertension, and her test results were normal. She returned the following day and was detained for observation.

She had her period on the ground, undressed, and was taken to an inpatient psychiatric facility where antipsychotic medication was administered. Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis was discovered in her cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) when she returned to the emergency room following a seizure.

“The constellation of symptoms (spontaneous defecation, catatonia, sudden encephalopathy without metabolic or infectious findings) coupled with the preliminary CSF results and the history of deterioration after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination led to a strong clinical suspicion of an autoimmune-mediated encephalitis driven by the vaccine,” the paper’s authors wrote.

According to the researchers, the patient’s original ER visit was not evaluated for anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis since she was exhibiting main psychiatric disorder symptoms and had no indicators of inflammation, fever, or systemic infection.

In a similar vein, a 2022 study that was published in the Journal of Epilepsy Research discovered that the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer might elicit pre-existing anti-NMDA receptor antibodies. One day after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, a 20-year-old female patient who had an ovarian tumor without realizing it got anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, according to the case report.

Her earliest symptoms included improper text messages to friends, incessant questioning, odd behavior, and difficulties with comprehension and reading. The patient went to the emergency room three days after receiving the immunization due to a grand mal seizure. Her CSF test resulted in anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. She “returned to normal life” after receiving the necessary care.

GreatGameIndia recently reported that a new study published in The Lancet’s eBioMedicine found an association between COVID-19 vaccines and an increase in a rare autoimmune disease in 2021.

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