Posted on March 3, 2012 by
Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2011 Oct;13(5):316-20.
Inflammatory biomarkers in depression: an opportunity for novel therapeutic interventions.
Li M, Soczynska JK, Kennedy SH.
Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, University Health Network/Princess Margaret Hospital and University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5G 2M9, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently available antidepressants are effective in less than two thirds of depressed patients, with even lower remission rates in the context of co-morbid medical illness. A rapidly expanding evidence base suggests that maladaptive inflammatory immune responses may be a common pathophysiology underlying depression, particularly in the presence of a general medical condition. The inflammatory hypothesis of depression marks a significant shift away from monoamine-based approaches and is a major step towards developing novel treatments that directly target causal factors of depression. Many antidepressants exert anti-inflammatory effects and there is an emerging literature documenting the efficacy of anti-inflammatory agents as adjunctive treatments for depression. Identification of inflammatory biomarkers in depression will require a re-conceptualization of both the diagnostic phenomenology and the experimental approaches to studying multi-determined psychiatric disorders. In addition to their application in diagnosis, predicting prognosis, and monitoring severity and response to treatment, inflammatory biomarkers may serve as novel therapeutic targets in the treatment of depression.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]