It is well recognized that depression is independently associated with cardiovascular events. However, uncertainties remain on the pathophysiological pathways underlying the association between depression and coronary heart disease. In addition to the traditional cardiovascular risk factors, autonomic nervous system (ANS), low grade of inflammation, platelet and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function and genetic factors may adversely impact the endothelium of the arterial wall. We provide an overview of the pathophysiological mechanisms and indices which seem to have a role in promoting and accelerating atherosclerosis and its complications due to plaque rupture and thrombosis. Given that the relationship between depression and atherosclerosis cannot be fully explained by single mechanisms, which seem at least partially interrelated, the depression-related dysfunctions in the SNA and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis seem to play a major role, promoting chronic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and platelet activation and aggregation, which in turn are key steps in the development of atherosclerosis and its complications.

Pathophysiological mechanisms linking depression and atherosclerosis: an overview

FLACCO, MARIA ELENA;CAPASSO, LORENZO;CHIARINI, Stella;DI BALDASSARRE, Angela;MANZOLI, Lamberto
2012

Abstract

It is well recognized that depression is independently associated with cardiovascular events. However, uncertainties remain on the pathophysiological pathways underlying the association between depression and coronary heart disease. In addition to the traditional cardiovascular risk factors, autonomic nervous system (ANS), low grade of inflammation, platelet and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function and genetic factors may adversely impact the endothelium of the arterial wall. We provide an overview of the pathophysiological mechanisms and indices which seem to have a role in promoting and accelerating atherosclerosis and its complications due to plaque rupture and thrombosis. Given that the relationship between depression and atherosclerosis cannot be fully explained by single mechanisms, which seem at least partially interrelated, the depression-related dysfunctions in the SNA and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis seem to play a major role, promoting chronic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and platelet activation and aggregation, which in turn are key steps in the development of atherosclerosis and its complications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/314283
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