New York Daily News - Depression May Be Linked To An 'Allergy' To Stress

 – October 16, 2012  –– 

A new study finds that an over-responsive immune system could be to blame for why some people are susceptible to depression. In a mice study, mice whose stress response involved overproducing an inflammatory compound called interleukin-6 were more likely to become depressed than mice who didn't overproduce the compound. Study researcher Dr. Georgia Hodes, of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, notes that the same compound is developed in depressed humans. "There's probably a subset of people with depression who have this over-sensitive inflammatory response to stress and... this is leading to the symptoms of depression," said Dr. Hodes. "In some ways, it is an analogy to an allergy," she said. "You have something that is not really dangerous, but your body thinks it is, so you have this massive immune response. In this case, the stressor is what they're having this massive immune response to."
- Dr. Georgia Hodes, Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroscience, The Mount Sinai Medical Center
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