Significant attention has been paid to the potential adaptive value of depression as it relates to interactions with people in the social world. However, in this review, we outline the rationale of why certain features of depression including its environmental and genetic risk factors, its association with the acute phase response and its age of onset and female preponderance appear to have evolved from human interactions with pathogens in the microbial world. Approaching the relationship between inflammation and depression from this evolutionary perspective yields a number of insights that may reveal important clues regarding the origin and epidemiology of the disorder as well as the persistence of its risk alleles in the modern human genome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health