600 words about Depression and Immune Function

Depression and Immune Function

The body manifests what the mind harbors.
—Jerry Augustine, Former American baseball player

If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong.
—Thomas Jefferson, American co-author of the Declaration of Independence

These quotes illustrate what researchers know about how the condition of the mind and the body influence one another. In fact, research suggests that severe depression may decrease the number of immune factors in the body affecting immune responses such as inflammation. The impact of less immune factors could lead to chronic diseases. For those battling chronic diseases, research supports that these individuals might be more susceptible to depression. When it comes to health, the mind and the body are engaged in an interrelated and bi-directional relationship.

To prepare for this Assignment, search the Walden Library and select two research studies that examine the relationship between depression and inflammation.

The Assignment:

In a Word document, respond to the following questions in a short-answer bulleted format:

  • What are two symptoms of depression? Provide a description for both.
  • What are two symptoms of inflammation? Provide a description for both.
  • What are two similarities between depression and inflammation at the cellular level?
  • What were the results of the two research studies that you selected that examined depression and inflammation?
  • Describe two influences that these research results might have on the treatment of depression.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation.


  • Contrada, R. J. (2011). The handbook of stress science: Biology, psychology, and health. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
    • Chapter 5, “Behavioral, Emotional, and Cognitive Sequelae of Immune System Activation” (pp. 65–76)
    • Chapter 25, “Stress and Depression” (pp. 345–358)
    • Chapter 26, “Stressors and Mental Health Problems in Childhood and Adolescence,” (pp. 359–372)
    • Chapter 27, “Physical Health Outcomes of Trauma,” (pp. 373–384)
  • Kendall-Tackett, K. (Ed.). (2010). The psychoneuroimmunology of chronic disease: Exploring the links between inflammation, stress, and illness. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    • Chapter 5, “Depression, Hostility, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Inflammation: The Corrosive Health Effects of Negative Mental States” (pp. 113–131)
    • Chapter 6, “Cognitive and Behavioral Reactions to Stress Among Adults with PTSD: Implications for Immunity and Health” (pp. 133–158)
    • Chapter 9, “Treatments for Depression That Lower Inflammation: Additional Support for an Inflammatory Etiology of Depression” (pp. 219–242)
  • Altemus, M., Dhabhar, F., & Ruirong, Y. (2006). Immune Function in PTSD. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1071(1), 167–183.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Dantzer, R. (2012). Depression and inflammation: An intricate relationship. Biological Psychiatry, 71(1), 4–5.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Dantzer, R., O’Connor, J. C., Freund, G. G., Johnson, R. W., & Kelley, K. W. (2008). From inflammation to sickness and depression: when the immune system subjugates the brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(1), 46–56.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Gill, J. M., Saligan, L., Woods, S., & Page, G. (2009). PTSD is associated with an excess of inflammatory immune activities. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 45(4), 262–277.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Gill, J., Vythilingam, M., & Page, G. G. (2008). Low cortisol, high DHEA, and high levels of stimulated TNF-α, and IL-6 in women with PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21(6), 530–539.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Howk, C., & Bennett, M. (2010). Immune function and health outcomes in women with depression. BioPsychoSocial Medicine, 4, 3–11.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Leonard, B. E. (2010). The concept of depression as a dysfunction of the immune system. Current Immunology Reviews, 6(3), 205–212.
    Copyright 2010 by Bentham Science Publishers, Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Bentham Science Publishers, Ltd., via the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Sarapas, C., Cai, G., Bierer, L. M., Golier, J. A., Galea, S., Ising, M.,…Yehuda, R. (2011). Genetic markers for PTSD risk and resilience among survivors of the World Trade Center attacks. Disease Markers, 30(2–3), 101–110.
    Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
  • Scott-Tilley, D., Tilton, A., & Sandel, M. (2010). Biologic correlates to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder in female victims of intimate partner violence: Implications for practice. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 46(1), 26–36.
    Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
  • Wilson, D. R. (2010). Health consequences of childhood sexual abuse. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 46(1), 56–64.
    Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
  • National Institute of Mental Health. (2009). Key molecule in inflammation-related depression confirmed. Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2009/key-molecule-in-inflammation-related-depression-confirmed.shtml

Optional Resources

  • National Institute of Mental Health. (2008). Errant stress/immune indicators detected in depression-prone women’s sweat. Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2008/errant-stress-immune-indicators-detected-in-depression-prone-womens-sweat.shtml
  • National Institute of Mental Health. (2011). How are depression and chronic pain linked? Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-and-chronic-pain/index.shtml
  • Olszanecka-Glinianowicz, M., Zahorska-Markiewicz, B., Kocełak, P., Janowska, J., Semik-Grabarczyk, E., Wikarek, T., …Dabrowski, P. (2009). Is chronic inflammation a possible cause of obesity-related depression? Mediators of Inflammation, 1–4.

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