Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2014 Jun 1;49(6):841-9. Epub 2014 May 1.
Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology Lab, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, The James Black Centre, 125 Coldharbour Lane, SE5 9NU, London, UK.
In the last few decades, mental health research has increasingly provided evidence supporting the role of inflammation in pathogenesis, course and treatment of mental disorders. With such a steep incline of research, resulting in a wealth of emerged findings, it has become difficult to follow developments within the field. The present review sets out to present the recent developments and to give an overview of the inflammatory profiles of depression, psychosis and bipolar disorder, as well as variations within these disorders. Moreover, mediating factors such as social environment and childhood experience are discussed, both in terms of their potential in elucidating the complex interface between the inflammation and other closely related biological systems, as well as the possibly confounding impact of various lifestyle factors. Whilst many issues in this fascinating area of research remain to be fully understood and elaborated, all current evidence suggests that inflammation plays a key role in mental disorders and may open up novel avenues for clinical treatment.