Social support as a buffer in the relationship between treatment for depression and T-cell production of interferon gamma in patients with multiple sclerosis

David C. Mohr*, Claude Genain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective This study examined the buffering effects of social support on the relationship between depression and autoaggressive immune function in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods Fourteen participants with comorbid diagnoses of MS and major depressive disorder received 16 weeks of psychotherapy or antidepressant medications. Depression and T-cell production of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), a lynchpin in MS pathogenesis, were assessed at baseline and posttreatment. Social support was assessed at baseline. Results Both depression and T-cell production of IFN-γ were significantly reduced over the 16 weeks of treatment. There was a significant interaction between change in depression, change in IFN-γ, and social support (R2=.26, P=.03) such that social support served as a buffer. Conclusion These results support the hypothesis that social support buffers the effects of change in depression on IFN-γ production. However, these findings should be viewed as preliminary due to the small sample size and the absence of a control condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-158
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psychoneuroimmunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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