Moleculera Labs Educational Series:

Autoimmune Diseases and Severe Infections as Risk Factors for Mood Disorders: A Nationwide Study *

This nationwide, population-based, prospective cohort study examines the link between mood disorders, infections, and autoimmune disease. The authors conclude, “Autoimmune diseases and the number of severe infections are independent and synergistic risk factors for mood disorders.” [1]

Download Dr. Madeleine Cunningham review article on Autoimmunity against dopamine receptors in neuropsychiatric and movement disorders

Take away messages:

  • “The risk of developing a mood disorder was elevated the most in the group with autoimmune diseases and a suspected presence of brain-reactive antibodies and infections.”
  • “The associations found in this study suggest that autoimmune diseases and infections are important etiologic factors in the development of mood disorders.”

The authors also remind us of some additional, recently published information.

  • “A recent study has demonstrated associations of seropositivity for influenza and coronaviruses with mood disorders.” [2]
  • “Another smaller study found an association between infections in early life and the occurrence of a broad range of mental disorders, including major depression, during youth.” [3]
  • “Several autoimmune diseases have previously been associated with mood disorders in smaller studies.” [4]
  • “Elevated autoantibody levels and increased autoantibody reactivity have been observed in subgroups of patients with severe depression.” [5]

Schedule Your Personal Phone Consultation

Learn more about how the Cunningham Panel™ of tests can assist you in diagnosing treatable autoimmune encephalopathies characterized by abnormal neuropsychiatric behaviors. Schedule your personal phone consultation with a Moleculera Labs clinical staff member by completing the form below or call Amy Cross, RN, at 405-239-5254.

  1. Benros ME, Waltoft BL, Nordentoft M, Ostergaard SD, Eaton WW, Krogh J, Mortensen PB. Autoimmune Diseases and Severe Infections as Risk Factors for Mood Disorders A Nationwide Study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(8):812-820. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.1111
  2. Okusaga  O, Yolken  RH, Langenberg  P,  et al.  Association of seropositivity for influenza and coronaviruses with history of mood disorders and suicide attempts. J Affect Disord. 2011;130(1-2):220-225.
  3. Goodwin  RD.  Association between infection early in life and mental disorders among youth in the community: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:878.
  4. Diamond  B, Huerta  PT, Mina-Osorio  P, Kowal  C, Volpe  BT.  Losing your nerves? maybe it’s the antibodies. Nat Rev Immunol. 2009;9(6):449-456.
  5. Laske  C, Zank  M, Klein  R,  et al.  Autoantibody reactivity in serum of patients with major depression, schizophrenia and healthy controls. Psychiatry Res. 2008;158(1):83-86.