depression

High Levels of the Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 Found in Patients with Suicidality

High Levels of the Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 Found in Patients with Suicidality

A recent  study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry indicates the presence of aberrant cytokine levels in patients with suicidality, and identifies a link between pro-inflammatory cytokines, and specifically, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 with suicidal behavior. Previous research has shown that major depression is associated with an immune response with an increased production of pro-inflammatory […]

Immigration and Stress: High Depression and Suicide Attempts Linked To Acculturative Stress in Indiana’s Latino Teens

Immigration and Stress: High Depression and Suicide Attempts Linked To Acculturative Stress in Indiana’s Latino Teens

Recently, a community-based study on the acculturative stress–depression link was presented at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 17. The term acculturation, coined in 1880 by John W. Powell refers to the modification of the culture of a group or individual as a result of contact with […]

Deficit of Oxytocin in Women with Major Depression

Deficit of Oxytocin in Women with Major Depression

A new study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research extends the results of two previous studies and provides evidence that oxytocin levels are low in women with depression, including patients with psychotic major depression (PMD), who typically exhibit greater depressive severity. The neuropeptide oxytocin has been implicated in many aspects of reproductive and social […]

GrahamRook.net

GrahamRook.net

Dr. Graham Rook is Emeritus Professor of Medical Microbiology at University College London. His website, contains a discussion of the evolutionary theory and immunological mechanisms behind the Old Friends mechanism, a reformulation of the hygiene hypothesis; the implications of faulty immunoregulation for psychiatry, and in particular for depression and stress resilience, and/or autoimmunity and cancer.  Read […]

The Role of Immunoregulating Microbes in Stress Resilience

The Role of Immunoregulating Microbes in Stress Resilience

In the March 2013 issue of Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Graham Rook et al. review a multitude of epidemiological data to highlight links between sanitation, psychiatric disorders and stress resilience. At the core of this concept is the Hygiene Hypothesis and “Old Friends” mechanism, which suggest that increased sanitation accounts for increases in inflammatory […]

Oxytocin & vasopressin and human emotional and behavioral systems

Oxytocin & vasopressin and human emotional and behavioral systems

A study, published on June 12, 2012, in PLoS One, provides perhaps the first evidence that oxytocin and arginine vasopressin are both dysregulated in Williams Syndrome. Human emotion and social behavior are linked to neuroendocrine function, and two hypothalamic neuropeptides, oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) appear to regulate reproduction, social behaviors and emotionality in […]

Negative and Competitive Interpersonal Stressors Linked to High Proinflammatory Cytokine Responses

Negative and Competitive Interpersonal Stressors Linked to High Proinflammatory Cytokine Responses

In a recent PNAS study, Jessica Chiang and colleagues from the Department of Psychology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, investigated the potential importance of negative, competitive and positive daily interactions on inflammatory activity. The authors of this study demonstrate that negative social interactions significantly predicted higher baseline levels of sTNFaRII […]

Psychological Stress and Cardiovascular Diseases: Overview of Clinical & Epidemiological Data

Psychological Stress and Cardiovascular Diseases: Overview of Clinical & Epidemiological Data

A review published in Postgraduate Medicine provides a comprehensive overview of the growing pool of clinical and epidemiological data concerning the association between psychological stress and cardiovascular disease, as well as the impact of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise therapy on psychological stress-related cardiovascular events. “Stress” is one of the most common patient complaints and up […]

Major Depressive Disorder, Immunoregulation, Inflammation and Our Changing Microbial Environment

Major Depressive Disorder, Immunoregulation, Inflammation and Our Changing Microbial Environment

EVOLVING CONCEPTS ARTICLE Urbanized societies are suffering an epidemic of chronic inflammatory disorders such as allergies, autoimmunity and inflammatory bowel disease. This is at least partly due to elimination from the hygienic modern concrete and tarmac environment of microorganisms and helminths with which man co-evolved. These organisms needed to be tolerated, and so were “entrusted” […]

The ‘Old Friends’ Hypothesis and Why Living in the Modern World May Increase Vulnerability to Major Depression

The ‘Old Friends’ Hypothesis and Why Living in the Modern World May Increase Vulnerability to Major Depression

In this paper, Raison et al. explore evidence that the ‘old friends’ theory, heretofore associated with allergic and autoimmune diseases, can also be applied to major depression. The ‘old friends’ theory suggests that immune interactions with pseudocommensal mycobacterial species, gut flora members and helminthes regulate the immune system, thus explaining lower rates of atopic (Th2-mediated) […]