Vascular factors and depression

Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Wolfson Research Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.09). 10/2008; 23(10):993-1000. DOI: 10.1002/gps.2020
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper examines possible mechanisms that may explain the bi-directional relationship between vascular disease and depression.
A literature review was carried out using Medline from 1996 to 2007, using relevant key words including vascular depression, and supplemented by key references to earlier work.
Several mechanisms were considered including: autonomic dysfunction, platelet activation, hypothalamic pituitary axis activation, endothelial dysfunction, cytokines, omega 3 fatty acids, genetics, homocysteine and effects of treatment.
The relationship between vascular disease and depression cannot solely be explained by current established risk factors or the effects of treatment for depression. Other mechanisms must apply, and there is some evidence for common genetic factors. Promising future lines of investigation include homocysteine, cytokines and endothelial dysfunction. More longitudinal studies combined with measurements of these biomarkers are needed.

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