Miss Athina Aruldass
Immunological interplay in pathoetiology of mood disorders is a long-standing concept dating back to the early 20th century. Over the past two decades, irrefutable evidence linking peripheral inflammation i.e. blood inflammatory markers, and depressive behaviour have begun to evolve. Critically, these findings posit that heightened peripheral inflammation observed in depression is unlikely a coincidence. Thus, this paradigm is now being revisited with wider objectives to (1) identify peripheral biomarker(s) in depression and (2) potentially introduce an immune-based therapeutic intervention. Facilitated primarily by functional MRI, my current work specifically aims to gain a more nuanced understanding of brain functional abnormalities in inflammation-linked depression. This fundamentally involves correlating peripheral blood immune markers with whole-brain functional connectivity and regional brain activation to reward/punishment stimuli.
Cross-sectional and cohort studies
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Associated News Items
Aruldass AR, Kitzbichler MG, Morgan SE, Lim S, Lynall M-E, Turner L, Vertes P, Wellcome Trust Consortium for Neuroimmunology of Mood Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease (NIMA), Cavanagh J, Cowen P, Pariante CM, Harrison NA, Bullmore ET (2021), “Dysconnectivity of a brain functional network was associated with blood inflammatory markers in depression. ” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity Vol(98):299-309
Athina Aruldass (2022), “Functional neuroimaging studies of inflammation-related depression” PhD thesis
Kitzbichler MG, Aruldass AR, Barker GJ, Wood TC, Dowell NG, Hurley SA et al. (2021), “Peripheral inflammation is associated with micro-structural and functional connectivity changes in depression-related brain networks.” Mol Psych 26:7346–7354