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Understanding the biological mechanisms underlying symptoms might help us cross the brain–body divide to the benefit of both
  1. Jonathan Cavanagh
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Cavanagh, Sackler Institute of Psychobiological Research, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK; Jonathan.Cavanagh{at}

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The paper published by Gold and colleagues,1 illustrates the increasing potential of psychoneuroimmunology in elucidating some of the more enigmatic problems in neuropsychiatry (see page 814).

The relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) is recognised as both close and illustrative. The high prevalence of MDD is predictive of not only poor quality of life but also impaired disease adaptation. Treatment of MDD in this context is also important as there is growing evidence that such treatment might have a positive impact on MS relevant immune markers, such as proinflammatory cytokines. Conversely, immunotherapies for MS show some positive impact on depressive symptoms.

MS is a unique clinical scenario wherein proinflammatory cytokines are released into the CNS by …

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  • Competing interests JC has received funding for research from Pfizer and Biogen IDEC.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

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