Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCLA study suggests link between untreated depression, response to shingles vaccine

20.02.2013
Can an individual's state of mind effect how well a vaccine may work? In the case of seniors and shingles, the answer is yes.

Reporting in the current online edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Dr. Michael Irwin, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, demonstrates a link between untreated depression in older adults and decreased effectiveness of the herpes zoster —or shingles — vaccine.

Shingles is a painful, blistering skin rash that can last for months or even years. It's caused by the varicella–zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. It's thought to strike more than a million people over the age of 60 each year in the U.S.

Every year, health officials urge individuals 50 and older to get vaccinated against the virus. The vaccine boosts cell-mediated immunity to the virus and can decrease the incidence and severity of the condition.

But in a two-year study, Irwin, the first author of the research and director of the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, and his colleagues measured immune responses to the shingles vaccination among 40 people aged 60 or older who suffered from a major depressive disorder and compared these responses to similar levels in 52 control patients matched by age and gender. Measurements were taken at the beginning of the study, and then at six weeks, one year and two years after the patients received either the shingles vaccine or a placebo.

Depressed patients not being treated with antidepressants showed a weaker immune response to the varicella–zoster virus — and thus were less able to respond to the shingles vaccine — than patients who were not depressed and patients who suffered from depression but werereceiving treatment with antidepressants.

The findings suggest that patients with untreated depression were "poorly protected by the shingles vaccination," Irwin said.

Surprisingly, when the depression was being treated, responses to the vaccine were normalized, even when the depression treatment had not been effective in lessening the symptoms of depression.

"Among depressed elderly, treatment with an antidepressant medication such as a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor might increase the protective effects of zoster vaccine," said Irwin.

Larger studies are needed to evaluate the possible relationship between untreated depression and the risk of shingles, the study noted, along with further research to establish what mechanisms are responsible for patients' reduced immune response.

And there is a clinical side as well, Irwin noted. "Efforts are also needed to identify and diagnose depressed elderly patients who might benefit from either a more potent vaccine or a multi-dose vaccination schedule." he said.

The findings have important public health implications beyond the prevention of shingles, possibly extending to other infectious diseases, Irwin said. Because this study measured immune system T cells that were specific to the varicella–zoster virus, the association may extend to T cells specific for antigens of other pathogens that cause disease in older adults, such as influenza.

If so, Irwin said, this suggests that untreated depression may identify a sub-group of elderly likely to respond poorly to other vaccines.

"While we know that psychological stress is associated with a weakened immune response to influenza vaccines in older adults, few studies have examined the association between depression and infectious disease risk, or disease-relevant immunologic endpoints, such as vaccine responses," he said.

There were multiple authors on the study. Other UCLA authors were Richard Olmstead and Carmen Carrillo. Please see the study for all authors and for conflict-of-interest statements.

Funding for the study was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health (R01-MH 55253) and, in part, by the Department of Veterans Affairs; a grant from Merck and Co. Inc.; National Institutes of Health grants R01-AG034588, R01-AG026364, R01-CA119159, R01-HL079955, R01 HL095799 and P30-AG028748; UCLA CTSI UL1TR000124; the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology; and the James R. and Jesse V. Scott Fund for Shingles Research.

The Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA encompasses an interdisciplinary network of scientists working to advance the understanding of psychoneuroimmunology by linking basic and clinical research programs and by translating findings into clinical practice. The center is affiliated with the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.

Mark Wheeler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>