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Dissociation and Immune Dysregulation: A Preliminary Report

Abstract

Recent evidence indicates that various types of interactions between nervous and immune system are important in pathogenesis of depression. These findings show that a significant role in developing depression play proinflammatory cytokines that may mediate its psychological and neurobiological manifestations. Great importance among these cytokines plays tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and there is growing evidence that inflammatory processes related to depression may be influenced by psychological stress as well as organic inflammatory conditions. These findings suggest that specific influences related to traumatic stress and dissociation could be found in close relationship to increased level of cytokine TNF-a. In the present study we have performed psychometric measurement of depression (BDI-II), traumatic stress symptoms (TSC-40) and dissociation (DES), and immunochemical measure of serum TNF-a in 40 inpatients with unipolar depression (mean age 38.4±8.2). The results show that TNF-a is significantly related to DES (Spearman R= -0.36, p<0.05), but not to BDI-II and TSC-40. Results of the present study suggest that TNF-a alterations related to dissociation could present a specific process of immunomodulation that may be explained by mutual influences between stress and neuroimmune system.

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Correspondence to Gustav Bizik.

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Bizik, G., Bob, P., Raboch, J. et al. Dissociation and Immune Dysregulation: A Preliminary Report. Act Nerv Super 53, 141–145 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03379937

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Key words

  • depression
  • dissociation
  • TNF-alpha
  • traumatic stress