Inflammation Can Trigger Depression

Inflammation in the body gives two to three times increased risk of depression. It shows a large Danish study involving 73,000 Danes.

Inflammation, who because of illness or unhealthy lifestyles hiding somewhere in your home, damage not only the physical body. It can apparently also affect your state of mind by triggering a depression. Is inflammatory protein 'CRP' increased, the risk of developing depression following two to three times larger. It shows a new comprehensive study of a Danish research team consisting of scientists from Herlev Hospital and University of Copenhagen.

"The risk of inflammation increases by unhealthy lifestyles, obesity and chronic diseases. Our message to people is that one should avoid getting into a situation where you have an increased amount of inflammatory proteins in the body, "says the leader of the research project Borge Nordestgaard, a professor at Copenhagen University and consultant at Herlev Hospital.

The results have just been published in the renowned scientific journal Archives of General Psychiatry, is obtained after polled and analyzed information on a total of 73,000 residents' lives.

Scientists have mapped the number of participants who have had a hidden inflammation in the body using blood samples from the two population studies 'Herlev, Copenhagen City Heart Study' and 'Copenhagen City Heart Study'. Through blood samples have been measured participants' levels of CPR all the way back to 1991.

In addition, researchers have delved into the Danish person registers to follow all participants purchase of antidepressant medication at the pharmacy. The registers have also given researchers access to information on whether participants at any time during the period have been hospitalized because of depression.

Greater insights into depression

When the researchers subsequently compared who had inflammation against whom, who was suffering from depression, there was a clear correlation.

Persons with CPR levels above 3 mg / liter was approximately 21 percent of participants. They were more likely to have a strong stress response, an increased use of antidepressants and more hospitalizations for depression than participants with low CPR levels below 1 mg / l

"Our discovery gives us more knowledge about depression. It shows that there is an interaction between our body and our mind, and that disease in one system may compromise the other. And it's not really surprising when you think about. It provides a way, good sense, "said Borge Nordestgaard and whereas it is well known that overweight people because of the many kilograms does not function optimally physically, have a high CRP level.

The mechanism is still unknown

That there is a link between depression and inflammation is thus clear enough, but the underlying mechanism is still quite obscure. According to medical Marie Kim Wium-Andersen, who participated in the study as part of her PhD project at the University of Copenhagen, it seems that betændelsesmolekylerne affect some of the neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain that determines our state of mind and regulate our mood.

"We can not prove it conclusively," she says and stresses that in principle could be reversed-that is, it is the depression that triggers an inflammation. A third possibility could be that it is a basic disease in the body that trigger inflammation and depression.


The relationship has been previously observed in other studies, however, was so small to be completely reliable. The new study is the first to document the link with certainty.

"What is the underlying cause should be investigated further in future studies. The only thing we can say with certainty is that there is a relationship between the two states. To understand the disease biological cause is one of the most important steps to effectively prevent and treat the condition, "says Marie Kim Wium-Andersen.

Inflammation of the heart can trigger depression

Professor of Psychiatry Poul Videbech from Aarhus University Hospital, the new results very interesting.

"It's a really hot topic. Several studies from many research groups around the world suggests that inflammation is linked to depression. The inflammation affects obviously the formation of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain - a neurotransmitter that controls our moods, "says Poul Videbech.

In autoimmune diseases, such as. rheumatoid arthritis, depression occurs much more frequently than you might think. It could, according to Paul Videbech indicate that there is a connection.

His own research group is interested to examine the association between depression and heart disease. It has long been known that depression and heart disease are linked, and studies suggest that inflammation of the heart plays a role. It may be a missing link.

"It is dødintereressant if we can dampen inflammation using antidepressants called SSRIs. It may be that the arthritic drugs which reduce inflammation, may have an antidepressant effect. If you give it with antidepressants, so look both seem to work better. Inflammation is extremely interesting in terms of both heart disease and mental illness, "he concludes.

Translated from "Videnskab" a major Danish newspaper.