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Sick and down

To fight off an infection or illness, the body shifts into a slow-down mode that mirrors some symptoms of depression. In fact, scientists now think the immune response itself may even cause the mood disorder.

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1:03pm, July 4, 2008

When one of psychiatrist Andrew Miller’s patients asked about receiving the best drug available for treating hepatitis C, Miller said: “No way.” The patientin his early 20s and accompanied by his mom to the appointmenthad no job, few friends and a history of depression. While Miller knows that hepatitis C patients often benefit from the new generation of immune-boosting treatments, he’s keenly aware that those same immune therapies have a strong tendency to bring people downand, in people predisposed to depression, dangerously down.

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