Friday, May 28, 2010

Immune Driven Psychopathology in Mice?

It all began way back in the 19th century. "Sickness Behavior" was observed in humans and farm animals. As that Wiki article goes on to explain, there are some interesting similarities between sickness behavior and depression. This has been an active area of research for many years now. One key article is this one from 2003. This strange and puzzling linkage between the nervous systems and immune systems has been evidenced by the following:
  • Shizophrenia is associated with differing rates of cancer and autoimmune disease from others.
  • Epileptics also have altered immunological responses, this possibly driven by hippocampal - fornix - PVN networks(guess).
  • Traumatic brain injury can induce a variety of physiological changes, from altered melatonin production to variations in circadian cortisol secretion. 
This is going to be difficult ...