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J Behav Med. 1994 Apr;17(2):217-23.

Immunity and depression: insomnia, retardation, and reduction of natural killer cell activity.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego.


Depressed patients show a reduction of natural killer (NK) cell activity which may be associated with specific depressive symptoms. The present study demonstrated that sleep disturbance and retardation, but not other depressive symptoms, were negatively correlated with NK activity in 38 depressed patients. Specific behavioral changes in depression such as sleep disturbance and retardation were found to predict 16% of the variance of cytotoxicity levels in depression.

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