A Bidirectional Relationship Between

Jack Euesden is a statistician who is passionate about behavioral genetics, mental psychology, evolution, and human development. He is currently based at King's College London's MRC SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (Euesden, Danese, Lewis, & Maugha, 2017). He is a Ph.D. candidate. Degree and currently works as a lecturer at Kings College.
Dr. Andrea Danese is a clinical scientist specializing in developmental psychobiology and psychiatry. He holds a Ph.D. from the King's College London. He works at the Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol. His work aims at determining the biological mechanism through which early experiences influence the development of children and the effects at adulthood. Furthermore, Dr. Danese works in collaboration with the UK Science media center in commentaries regarding stress and psychopathology of the stress-related issues in children.

Prof. Cathryn M. Lewis works on Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London (Euesden, Danese, Lewis, & Maugha, 2017). Her research work focuses on the application of statistical tools in solving complex genetic phenotypes.

Prof. Barbara Maughan is a specialist in Developmental Epidemiology. Her studies focus on addressing mental health problems in adolescents and children. She is currently working at the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the King’s College, London.

From the information above, it is evident that the four authors of the article share about a general aspect in common: their research work focuses on children, and at least something does with mental health and behavior. The paper herein is a research article, and therefore more information regarding the biography and other personal information is not necessary. Also, an inclusion of the same may lead to a breach of confidentiality as dictated by the guidelines of scientific research.

In your own words, summarize the study's predictions and why the authors think it's important to study this topic (for example, no one else has tested this idea, or it would be good for businesses to know this information, etc.)

Even though the epidemiological relationship between mental illnesses and autoimmune disorders has been studied for close to a century, the mechanisms under which the two issues overlap remain unclear. The problems make the topic interesting. The research predictions have a basis on the fact that if the two diseases overlap, then there is a high chance that the frequency could be higher in an individual victim than chance in different individuals. The rate could be as a result of the effect of the immune system on the pathological processes of depression. The author thinks that an understanding of the co-morbidity between the illnesses may lead to a mechanism that affects the underlying disorders. It was expected that the results would give an idea of a bidirectional link between depression and autoimmune disorders. If the hypothesis remains valid, then it would mean that the risk factors that are shared between the diseases like environmental, and genetic factors may be the force behind the relationship.

Describe the typical person who was in the study (e.g., a newly married man, a female college student) and then describe the procedures of the study from beginning to end as though you were a participant in one of the conditions. What would you read or hear or do from the time you started the study until the time you were done?

The study was structured into two: The first involved use of previous data from the National Child Development Study. The cohort had been followed from the age of 33 through to age 46 (Euesden, Danese, Lewis, & Maugha, 2017). The other part involved telephone interview of the participants about their history with the autoimmune disorders, together with those who had lived with depression. The procedure from the beginning to the end was as follows:

Collection of the self-report data from waves 5 to 7, from the years 1991 to 2004; together with the genotype data from the biomedical surveys.

Ethical considerations including the informed consent and receiving the biomedical information. Ethical approval was not necessary because this part was about analysis of the existing data.

Harmonization across the time-points and data cleaning followed, to have the analytical sample of about 8175 people. From this, the observation was that depression and autoimmune disorders had been reported at a higher rate than it would happen by chance.

For the autoimmune disorders, the wave 7 members were interviewed via phone about their medical histories and the responses recorded as ICD-10 codes

For the depression candidates, three-self report measures were drawn, and the participants in wave 5 asked if they had experienced any problems with depression. Wave 6 participants were asked about the onset of mental disorders.

The other steps that were followed included genotyping; determination of the polygenic risk scores for depression and rheumatoid arthritis; statistical analysis and finally evaluation of the results.

Discuss which 2-3 topics from class or chapters in your text best relate to the research topic and why you think so.

The topics that relate to the research include:

Maternal depression and child development:- In the study of early childhood development, the interference with the family functioning has become an area of investigation. Even a study that aims to consider the family processes as the only influencing factors supports a multivariate risk model (Pryce, 2016). Other studies have demonstrated that disruptions in family functioning have a link with the maternal depression (Benros, 2016).

Hypnotherapy and Its Benefits for Autoimmune Disease:

Hypnotherapy uses the power of positive suggestion to enhance subconscious changes thoughts, feelings and behavior (Pryce, 2016). Studies have shown that hypnotherapy can help in resolving problems like autoimmune diseases and allergy (Benros, 2016). Health problems like allergy involve immune responses that may be unacceptable to the body like food, or material. On the other hand, autoimmune Disorder requires a response to the unwanted things within the human body itself. For allergy, external elements cause abnormal reactions, while for the autoimmune disorder, the immune system is affected by adverse materials leading to a response within the body.

Discuss your reactions to or questions about this research or the article itself.

Even though the research has a limitation of reliance on self-reported indicators that solely depends on the honesty of the respondent, it has the benefit of the validity of the depression measures. The reason is that the scores come from many sources including those from other studies. Apparently, the diversity of the data sources could have indicated variations if they were significant. The fact that the results point to the same direction as those from the previous research, it implies that the information based on this work stands the tests of validity. Indeed, the results indicate a depression prevalence rate of about 19%, a value that is consistent with the results of the previous work on the same topic. Also, the study reveals a significant evidence that depression may temporarily precede autoimmune disorders, or the converse may be valid at the time. The observation implies that there is indeed a link between the two illnesses, and this confirms the hypothesis. The genetic data used in the research has also indicated that the effects of autoimmune disorder are independent of the genetic risk scores on the onset of depression.


Benros, M. (2016). Autoimmune diseases can be associated with depression. Evidence-based mental health, 19 (4), e27.

Euesden, J., Danese, A., Lewis, C. M., & Maugha, B. (2017). A bidirectional relationship between depression and the autoimmune disorders-New perspectives from the National Child Development Study. Child Development Study, 12 (3), 1-14.

Pryce, C. R. (2016). Depression in Autoimmune Diseases. In C. R. Pryce, & A. Fontana, Inflammation-Associated Depression: Evidence, Mechanisms and Implications (pp. 139-154). Basel: Springer International Publishing.

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