Immunity, Cortisol and Psychiatric Disorders
Stress and psychiatric illness are often accompanied by a disturbance in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity, frequently resulting in the secretion of excessive amounts of cortisol, an immunosuppressive hormone (Carroll et al.,1976). We therefore hypothesized that psychiatric disorders such as depression, mania, and schizophrenia are associated with immune abnormalities, and that many of these abnormalities can be explained on the basis of increased secretion of cortisol. The present study was therefore conducted to characterize several aspects of immune dysfunction in psychiatric illness and to investigate the role of cortisol in such immune dysregulation.
KeywordsPsychiatric Disorder Major Depressive Disorder Psychiatric Illness Plasma Cortisol Plasma Cortisol Level
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- American Psychiatric Association, 1982, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd ed., Washington, D.C.Google Scholar