Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study suggests link between untreated depression and response to shingles vaccine

Date:
February 14, 2013
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Summary:
Results from a new study suggest a link between untreated depression in older adults and decreased effectiveness of the herpes zoster, or shingles, vaccine. Older adults are known to be at risk for shingles, a painful condition caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, and more than a million new cases occur each year in the US. The vaccine boosts cell-mediated immunity to the virus and can decrease the incidence and severity of the condition.

Results from a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases suggest a link between untreated depression in older adults and decreased effectiveness of the herpes zoster, or shingles, vaccine. Older adults are known to be at risk for shingles, a painful condition caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, and more than a million new cases occur each year in the U.S. The vaccine boosts cell-mediated immunity to the virus and can decrease the incidence and severity of the condition.

Related Articles


In a two-year study, led by Michael Irwin, MD, at the University of California-Los Angeles, researchers measured the immune responses to shingles vaccination among 40 subjects aged 60 or older with a major depressive disorder and compared these responses to similar levels in 52 control patients matched by age and gender. Measurements were taken at baseline, and then 6 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years after the patients received the shingles vaccine or a placebo.

Depressed patients not being treated with antidepressants (selective serotonin uptake inhibitors) had lower cell-mediated immunity to the varicella-zoster virus -- and were less able to respond to the shingles vaccine -- compared with patients who were not depressed or who were depressed but were receiving treatment with antidepressants, the researchers found.

The findings suggest that patients with untreated depression were "poorly protected by shingles vaccination," said Dr. Irwin. Depression treatment, on the other hand, boosted cell-mediated immunity and increased the effectiveness of the vaccine among those studied, even when the treatment did not lessen depression symptoms, the researchers found. Treating depression, noted Dr. Irwin, appeared to "normalize the immune response to the zoster vaccine" in the study.

Larger studies are needed to evaluate the possible relationship between untreated depression and the risk of shingles, the study authors noted, along with research to establish what mechanisms are responsible for patients' reduced immune response. The possible connection, however, is potentially significant: If antidepressants increase the efficacy of the shingles vaccine in those who are depressed, such treatment may have a similar effect on the immune response of depressed patients to other important vaccines, such those against influenza.

Diagnosis and treatment of depression in older adults may increase of the effectiveness of the shingles vaccine and help diminish the risk of shingles, the study authors conclude from their findings. "Efforts are also needed to identify and diagnose depressed elderly patients who might benefit from either a more potent vaccine or a multi-dose vaccination schedule," Dr. Irwin said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael R. Irwin, Myron J. Levin, Mark L. Laudenslager, Richard Olmstead, Anne Lucko, Nancy Lang, Carmen Carrillo, Harold A. Stanley, Michael J. Caulfield, Adriana Weinberg, Ivan S. F. Chan, Jim Clair, Jeff G. Smith, R. D. Marchese, Heather M. Williams, Danielle J. Beck, Patricia T. McCook, Jane H. Zhang, Gary Johnson, and Michael N. Oxman. Varicella Zoster Virus–Specific Immune Responses to a Herpes Zoster Vaccine in Elderly Recipients With Major Depression and the Impact of Antidepressant Medications. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/cid/cis1208

Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Study suggests link between untreated depression and response to shingles vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214075627.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society of America. (2013, February 14). Study suggests link between untreated depression and response to shingles vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214075627.htm
Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Study suggests link between untreated depression and response to shingles vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214075627.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins