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Innate immunity and inflammation in type 2 diabetes-associated depression 

Innate immunity and inflammation in type 2 diabetes-associated depression
Innate immunity and inflammation in type 2 diabetes-associated depression

Calum D. Moulton

and John C. Pickup

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date: 20 January 2021

Depression affects 10%–20% of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and predicts twofold increased risk of complications and mortality. There is growing evidence that biological mechanisms such as innate inflammation may link the two conditions. In particular, recent epidemiological findings have reported elevated inflammation in patients with depression and T2D compared with those with T2D alone. Aetiologically, elevated inflammation is likely to result from multiple stressors across the life-course. Clinically, inflammation may lead to predominantly somatic symptoms. Therapeutically, there is tentative evidence that anti-inflammatory therapies could improve depressive symptoms and glycaemic control concurrently. There is now a need (1) for prospective epidemiological research to define the aetiology of elevated inflammation; (2) for mechanistic research to test how inflammation can lead to both conditions concurrently; and (3) for interventional research to define modifiable immune pathways to improve both psychological and biomedical outcomes in people with T2D.

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