Depression May Advance Inflammation

Published Online: Monday, December 1, 2003

    Depression, even mild cases, can affect the immune system in older adults, according to the results of a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry (October 2003). During the study, individuals who reported even a few symptoms of depression had higher levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an immune symptom protein that promotes inflammation. The research team compared 47 people who were present or past caregivers for a spouse with dementia with 72 similarly aged people who had never been a caregiver.

    The participants answered questions about symptoms of depression, and the researchers measured levels of IL-6 in blood samples taken before and after the participants had a flu shot. The study found that people who had symptoms of depression, but who were not clinically depressed, had higher levels of IL-6 before and after a flu shot, compared with people with fewer symptoms. Furthermore, 2 weeks after a flu shot, IL-6 levels in people with more depressive symptoms had increased, whereas people with few symptoms of depression did not have a big increase in IL-6 levels.

Latest Articles
In case you got caught up in the Thanksgiving holiday rush, here are the top trending stories you may have missed in November:
Bryan Ziegler, PharmD, executive director of Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center, provides some resources for community pharmacists to use when implementing new collaborative services with primary care providers.
James Schiffer, RPh, associate at Allegaert Berger & Vogel LLC, discusses some tips for pharmacists who are facing a Drug Enforcement Administration audit.
Carlos Aquino, founder and president of PharmaDiversion LLC, talks about the importance of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) diversion website.
Latest Issues