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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

During the past few decades, research from multiple disciplines has elucidated the profound connections between the immune system and mental health. This chapter provides a review of this literature, placing emphasis on the connections between inflammation and cytokines, and stress, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and social support. Additionally, brief overviews of the role of the natural immune system and adaptive immunity, as well as past research investigating stress are included. Further attention is focused on the physical health consequences of immune system dysregulation, ranging from increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, delayed wound healing, autoimmune responses, age-related elevations in proinflammatory cytokines, and decreased effectiveness of protective vaccinations. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the health effects and clinical implications of the relationships discussed throughout, as well as future directions to advance this field of study.

Keywords: mental health, immune system, inflammation, stress, cytokines, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia

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