Treatment of Depression in Medical Illness

Charles L. Raison, David C. Purselle, Lucile Capuron, Andrew H. Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Depression is a common and potentially deadly concomitant of many medical illnesses. While the multiple psychological stressors associated with being sick have long been recognized as a risk factor for depression, increasing data indicate that activation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine network also directly contributes to mood disturbance in the medically ill. Moreover, recent studies using treatment with the cytokine interferon-alpha-2b (IFN-alpha) as a model system for immunebased depression indicate that depression in the medically ill may represent an amalgam of mood-specific and neurovegetative symptom clusters that are mediated by different neuroendocrine/neurotransmitter pathways. These findings provide novel insights into ongoing diagnostic controversies created by the striking symptom overlap between major depression and sickness and have clear implications for the pharmacological treatment of depressive syndromes in patients with medical illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiology of Depression
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Novel Insights to Therapeutic Strategies
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)3527307850, 9783527307852
StatePublished - Jan 29 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Disease
  • Medical illness
  • Parkinson's
  • Sick
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Medicine


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