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 New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>