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Psychoneuroimmunology of Depressive Disorders: Implications for Older Adults and Late-Life Depression 

Psychoneuroimmunology of Depressive Disorders: Implications for Older Adults and Late-Life Depression
Chapter:
Psychoneuroimmunology of Depressive Disorders: Implications for Older Adults and Late-Life Depression
Author(s):

Michael R. Irwin

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199796816.003.0039
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date: 22 February 2020

Many exciting developments have occurred regarding the relationship between depression and the immune system, putting the field of psychoneuroimmunology into a clinical context with important translational implications for late-life depression. Initial studies focused on the impact of depression on relatively narrowly defined immunologic endpoints, which were ultimately relevant to infectious illnesses, autoimmune disorders, cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. More recently, the reciprocal influences of the immune system on the brain and behavior including depression have taken center stage. Increasing data now indicate that activated inflammatory processes can influence multiple aspects of CNS function including neurotransmitter metabolism, neuroendocrine function, and information processing leading to behavioral changes in humans. Together, these findings have provided insight into the identification of inflammatory mediators of depression risk and the development of novel anti-inflammatory, behavioral and pharmacologic treatments for late-life depression.

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