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South Med J. 2008 Jun;101(6):612-7. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e318172f732.

Platelet function in patients with depression.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 21224-2780, USA.


Depression accelerates the development and progression of cardiovascular disease and confers an increased risk of mortality. Platelets share biochemical similarity with the central nervous system, particularly in the uptake, storage, and metabolism of serotonin. Given this similarity, and considering the central role of platelets in the biology of cardiovascular disease, it is highly plausible that platelets play an important role in the increased cardiovascular risk of patients with depression. This article provides a comprehensive review of the evidence in this area and shows that the relationship between depression and platelet function is hardly straightforward. Whereas many studies have found that patients with depression have exaggerated platelet activation, quite a number of others show no such relationship or even lower levels of platelet activation in patients with depression. Larger, carefully designed, adequately powered studies with standardized methods of assessing platelet function are needed to address this issue.

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