Introduction. The mainstay of pharmacologic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis includes the use of disease-modifying agents like sulfasalazine and methothrexate, and more recently, anti-tumor necrosis factor- agents. Depression remains a major co-morbidity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and is thought to contribute to disability and mortality in these patients. Evidence now suggests that a biologic link exists between substrates responsible for inflammatory conditions and mood disorders. Most of this evidence comes from preclinical studies. Nevertheless, more research into this area is helping us to understand the possible mechanisms through which these conditions interact with each other. Case presentation. We describe a 60-year-old Indian man with rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed 15 years ago who had minimal response to multiple therapies with disease-modifying agents and whose arthritis symptoms surprisingly remitted when he was started on a specific serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant, three years ago, for co-morbid major depression. This remission has been maintained with this medication, and the patient is currently not taking any antirheumatoid medications. Conclusion: Possible mechanisms linking substrates of mood disorders and inflammation are reviewed in this case report, particularly the serotonergic system. Evidence seems to suggest a significant interaction between the serotonergic systems and inflammation. This interaction seems to be bidirectional. An understanding of this relation is most important to gain insight not only into pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this condition, but also into how treatments for these conditions may complement each other and possibly provide greater therapeutic options in both of these disabling conditions. © 2011 Krishnadas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
cited By (since 1996)5
Ra Krishnadas, Krishnadas, Rb, and Cavanagh, Ja, “Sustained remission of rheumatoid arthritis with a specific serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant: A case report and review of the literature”, Journal of Medical Case Reports, vol. 5, 2011.