Immune stimulation may treat depression via cytokines that boost neurotrophic factors | Charles Raison

Parent Episode: Dr. Charles Raison on Depression, the Immune-Brain Interface & Whole-Body Hyperthermia

A key player in the pathophysiology of depression is inflammation, a critical element of the body's immune system. Inflammation is a conserved biological response that developed during humans' ancient past, when regular exposure to pathogens dictated highly coordinated behavioral and immune responses to ensure survival. The fallout of these responses is an "inflammatory bias"– a propensity for the body to launch an indiscriminate response to a stressor, regardless of its source. Elevated biomarkers of inflammation, which are commonly observed in people who have depression, chronically activate the body's inflammatory response system, promoting the development of depressive symptoms and inducing changes in brain and neuroendocrine function. Interestingly, acute activation of the immune system can temporarily reduce inflammation and its accompanying depressive symptoms. In this clip, Dr. Charles Raison describes the complex relationship between inflammation and depression.

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