Immune Factors in Mental Diagnoses

Immune Factors in Mental Diagnoses

Immune Factors in Mental Diagnoses

What if neurologic and psychiatric diagnoses such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia were the result of dysfunctional immune cells? In fact, researchers are in the early stages of proving such links (Chen et al., 2010). If true, this theory might further support the notion that the body does not consist of isolated systems performing biological processes independent of one another. Consider the implications these findings might have for treatment of mental diagnoses if research were to uncover more links between mental diagnoses and immune system dysfunction.



For this Assignment, search the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in the Walden Library and select a mental health diagnosis other than depression. Finally, consider two cognitive/behavioral interventions you might use to improve immune function for that mental health diagnosis.

The Assignment (3–5 pages):

Submit an APA-formatted essay that includes the following:

  • A description of the mental health diagnosis you selected and causes of that diagnosis
  • A explanation of the psychoneuroimmunology theories related to that diagnosis
  • An explanation of two behavioral/cognitive interventions you might use to improve immune function related to that mental health diagnosis

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.


  • Abbas, A. K., Lichtman, A. H. & Pillai, S. (2016). Basic immunology: Functions and disorders of the immune system (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
    • Chapter 10, “Immune Responses Against Tumors and Transplants” (pp. 211-229)
    • Chapter 12, “Congenital and Acquired Immune Immunodeficiencies” (pp. 249-265)
  • Contrada, R. J. (2011). The handbook of stress science: Biology, psychology, and health. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
    • Chapter 30, “Stress and the Cancers” (pp. 411–423)
    • Chapter 32, Effects of Stress on Health in HIV/AIDS” (pp. 447–460)
  • Kendall-Tackett, K. (Ed.). (2010). The psychoneuroimmunology of chronic disease: Exploring the links between inflammation, stress, and illness. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    • Chapter 7, “Social Stress and Inflammation in the Exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis: An Animal Model with Implications for Humans” (pp. 159–181)
  • American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Wolden-Kirk, H., Overbergh, L., Christesen, H. T., Brusgaard, K., & Mathieu, C. Vitamin D and diabetes: It’s importance for beta cell and immune function. Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology, 347(1–2), 106–120.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Krause, M. L., Davis, J. M., Knutson, K. L., Strausbach, M. A., Crowson, C. S., Therneau, T. M., … Gabriel, S. E. (2011). Assessing immune function by profiling cytokine release from stimulated blood leukocytes and the risk of infection in rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical Immunology, 141(1), 67–72.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2012). Autoimmune diseases. Retrieved from
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. (2010). Autoimmune diseases fact sheet. Retrieved from

Optional Resources