Multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS), afflicts over one per thousand people in the United States. The pathology of MS typically involves lesions in several regions, including the brain and spinal cord. The manifestation of MS is variable and carries great potential to negatively impact quality of life (QOL). Evidence that inflammatory markers are related to depression in MS is accumulating. However, there are barriers in precisely identifying the biological mechanisms underlying depression and inflammation. Analysis of cytokines provides one promising approach for understanding the mechanisms that may contribute to MS symptoms. Methods: In this pilot study, we measured salivary levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1beta (β), and IL-10 in 24 veterans with MS. Descriptive statistics were reported and Pearson correlation coefficients were obtained between cytokines and depression. Results: The anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was significantly negatively associated with depression in veterans with MS (r = −0.47, p =.024). Conclusion: Cytokines may be useful for elucidating biological mechanisms associated with the depression and a measure for nurses caring for veterans with MS.
- inflammatory markers
- multiple sclerosis