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Do antidepressants enhance immune function?
Date:5/8/2008

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John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments: There has been growing evidence that the compromise of immune function associated with depression influences the outcomes of infectious diseases and cancer. Antidepressant treatments are beginning to be studied for their potential positive effects on immune function. He adds that the paper by Evans et al. suggests that antidepressant treatment may have positive effects on natural killer cell activity in cells isolated from individuals infected with HIV with and without depression. This type of bridge between the brain and the rest of the body deserves further attention. Dr. Evans agrees, noting that these findings begin to pave the way towards initiating clinical studies addressing the potential role of serotonergic agents and substance P antagonists in improving natural killer cell innate immunity, possibly delaying HIV disease progression and extending survival with HIV infection.


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Contact: Jayne Dawkins
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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