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Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), belong to the autoimmune disorders in the sense that an excessive response of the immune system(both innate and acquired) towards commensal microbial flora of the intestinal mucosa is involved in their pathogenesis. The progress of IBD is unknown, characterized by periods of exacerbation and quiescence. Depression and anxiety seem to coincide with relapse of IBD and further research is needed for the clarification of this correlation.
To further investigate the relationship between the psychological state of UCpatients and the gravity of their biopsy during relapse.
29 UC patients, hospitalized in two general hospitals for the investigation of a possible relapse of their disease were examined. Methods: Four self- report inventories (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-HADS, Zung Depression Scale, State Trait Anxiety Inventory Form1 and Form 2/STAI1/STAI2) were administered to the patients and the scores were correlated with the severity of parameters of their corresponding biopsies.
Positive correlations were observed between the degree of anxiety and depression in the questionnaires and the activation of innate immunity (polymorphonuclear leucocytes and macrophages) in the biopsies of UC patients
Our findings suggest correlations between the psychological state of UC patients and the intensity of their innate immune response perpetuating inflammation.