New information is coming out that is suggesting that this inflammation in the brain is actually the body’s allergic reaction to the inflammation. As Tim de Chant of NOVA recently wrote: “Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the bloodstream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication. It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines.” Inflammation in the body can also be caused by things such as obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats and unhealthy diets in general.
A few clinical trials have already been run where anti-inflammatories have been paired with antidepressant medication as a treatment. These clinical trials are showing that symptom reduction is improved when paired together, and that patients are responding better to their antidepressant medication when paired with an anti-inflammatory. This one of the reasons that supplements, such as Omega-3 fish oil are recommended to patients suffering from depression, as omega-3 fish oil is a natural antidepressant (click here to learn more about the benefits of Omega-3).
In another study they examined the moods of people after receiving vaccines that temporarily cause inflammation in the body (such as the vaccine for typhoid). They found that these same people experienced depressive and anxious symptoms until the inflammation from the vaccine wore off. Does this mean, then, that depression could theoretically be an infectious disease? Could depression be as simple as an allergic reaction in the body? If it is, we could be a lot closer to a “cure” for depression than ever before.
Want to learn more, check out this Ted Talk “Is Depression an Infectious Disease”…