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Epidermal growth factor (EGF) and inflammatory markers have been associated with various neuro-psychiatric disorders. However, their role in mild to moderate depression and anxiety patients treated with mindfulness-based group therapy (mindfulness) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is not known. In this study we analyzed plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and EGF before (baseline) and after treatment (8 weeks) and investigated their role in response to both arms of the treatment. To cover variety of mental symptoms, treatment response was analyzed by four scales, the Montgomery-Åsberg depression rating scale (MADRS), Hospital anxiety and depression scale- Depression (HADS-D) and anxiety (HADS-A) and patients health questionnaire-9. EGF levels were significantly decreased after both mindfulness and CBT and were associated with treatment response on all scales independent of the use of tranquilizers and antidepressant treatment. Moreover, baseline EGF levels were significantly associated only with baseline scores of anxiety scale. Levels of inflammatory markers analyzed in this study, were not significantly associated with treatment response on any scale. Our findings suggest that improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety after both mindfulness and CBT is associated with changes in EGF levels but not with the inflammatory markers.
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- Journal Article
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