The incidence of psychiatric disorders including anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) is getting higher and higher in the modern world (Furtado and Katzman, 2015). These problems have resulted in severe public and economic problems.
With the development in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), a question is that “what is the role of the immune system in these conditions”? How can the knowledge be used for psychiatric treatment?
With the detection of the alterations in the cortisol and cytokine concentrations, the stress-associated disorders have been related to the dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (Furtado and Katzman, 2015). Such findings may be used for the discovery of biomarkers and treatment targets.
Further studies in psychoneuroimmunology of the problems such as anxiety and PTSD may help elucidate the complex mechanisms of these disorders (Furtado and Katzman, 2015). The identification of the neuroinflammatory pathways may contribute to the discovery of better therapeutic strategies.
Furtado M, Katzman MA. Neuroinflammatory pathways in anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Psychiatry Res. 2015 Sep 30;229(1-2):37-48. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.036.