Health & Fitness

Now We Know that Inflammation Plays a Major Role in the Misery of Depression

Kristen Sparrow • September 17, 2019

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We discussed this in the last newsletter.  Inflammation and adverse effects on mood.
Major depressive disorder and inflammation
REVIEWOpen AccessRole of inflammation in depression relapseChun-Hong Liu1, Guang-Zhong Zhang2,BinLi3,MengLi4,MarieWoelfer4,5,MartinWalter4,6,7andLihongWang8*AbstractMajor depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide. After the first episode, patients withremitted MDD have a 60% chance of experiencing a second episode. Consideration of therapy continuation shouldbe viewed in terms of the balance between the adverse effects of medication and the need to prevent a possiblerelapse. Relapse during the early stages of MDD could be prevented more efficiently by conducting individual riskassessments and providing justification for continuing therapy. Our previous work established the neuroimagingmarkers of relapse by comparing patients with recurrent major depressive disorder (rMDD) in depressive andremitted states. However, it is not known which of these markers are trait markers that present before initial relapseand, consequently, predict disease course. Here, we first describe how inflammation can be translated to subtype-specific clinical features and suggest how this could be used to facilitate clinical diagnosis and treatment. Next, weaddress the central and peripheral functional state of the immune system in patients with MDD. In addition, weemphasize the important link between the number of depressive episodes and rMDD and use neuroimaging topropose a model for the latter. Last, we address how inflammation can affect brain circuits, providing a possiblemechanism for rMDD. Our review suggests a link between inflammatory processes and brain region/circuits inrMDD.