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    Inflammatory response linked to depression

    Inflammatory response linked to depression
    September 4th, 2006

    ATLANTA, Sept. 1 (UPI) ? People with major depression have an exaggerated inflammatory response to psychological stress compared to those without depression, says a U.S. study.

    Study leaders Dr. Andrew Miller and Christine Heim of Emory University School of Medicine say the findings suggest that increased inflammatory responses to stress in depressed patients may be a link between depression and other diseases, including heart disease, as well as contributing to depression itself.

    Twenty-eight medically healthy male participants, half of whom were diagnosed with major depression and half of whom were not depressed, were exposed to two moderately stressful situations during a 20-minute time period. Blood was collected every 15 minutes to test to check for key indicators of inflammation.

    While at rest ? before the stress challenge ? the depressed patients had increased inflammation relative to the control group.

    Both the depressed and the healthy groups showed an inflammatory response to the stress challenge, but people who were currently depressed exhibited the greatest increases, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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    Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    I certainly know that stress, as well as improper or lack of sleep, always means I suffer more inflammatory and pain symptoms, so I won't argue with this idea at all

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    Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    Hi Everyone,
    I have one question, what does a exaggerated inflammatory response specially mean?
    People with major depression have an exaggerated inflammatory response to psychological stress compared to those without depression, says a U.S. study.
    Very interesting article I just do not fully understand the meaning!
    Thank you for the post, take care

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    Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    On the positive side, some of the things that lessen inflammation like omega-3s, exercise, and a healthy diet also help mitigate depression.

    How your diet can help fight inflammation - MSNBC

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    Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    Hi Holly,
    I'm so glad you asked the question... i was going to but left it hoping some one would... Thank you!!

    Now all we need is the explaination.. lol

    I understand inflamation in rhumatism and arthritis..(sp) but not in this article as no meaning given.

    nsa

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    Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    from wikipedia:

    Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or irritation and may be referred to as the innate cascade. Inflammation is characterised by the following quintet: redness (rubor), heat (calor), swelling (tumor), pain (dolor) and dysfunction of the organs involved (functio laesa).
    so it sounds like i suspected - your immune system is oversensitive or overactive when suffering from depression.

    i also suspect it makes you mentally more sensitive to events around you as well. anyone any thoughts on this?

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    Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    Here's an article with a few more details. From HealthyPlace.com.

    (September 4, 2006) -- Individuals with major depression have an exaggerated inflammatory response to psychological stress compared to those who do not suffer from depression, according to a study by researchers at Emory University School of Medicine. Because an overactive inflammatory response may contribute to a number of medical disorders as well as to depression, the findings suggest that increased inflammatory responses to stress in depressed patients may be a link between depression and other diseases, including heart disease, as well as contributing to depression itself.

    "Several examples of increased resting inflammation in depressed patients already exist in the literature, but this is the first time anyone has shown evidence to suggest that the inflammatory response to stress may be greater in depressed people," says Dr. Miller.

    The study included 28 medically healthy male participants, half of whom were diagnosed with major depression and half of whom were not depressed. The participants were exposed to two moderately stressful situations during a 20-minute time period. Blood was collected every 15 minutes starting immediately before and then up to an hour and a half after the test to check for key indicators of inflammation. The researchers measured levels of a pro-inflammatory cytokine (a regulatory protein secreted by the immune system) called interleukin-6, and the activity of a pro-inflammatory signaling molecule in white blood cells called nuclear factor-kB.

    While at rest (before the stress challenge), the depressed patients had increased inflammation relative to the control group. Both the depressed and the healthy groups showed an inflammatory response to the stress challenge, but people who were currently depressed exhibited the greatest increases of interleukin-6 and nuclear factor-kB.

    "While inflammation is essential for us to fight bacterial and viral infections, too much inflammation can cause harm," says Dr. Miller. "There's always some collateral damage when the immune system gets fired up, and we now believe that too much inflammation, either at rest or during stress, may predispose people to become depressed or stay depressed." In addition, medical research over the last decade has shown that runaway inflammation may play a role in a number of disorders, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, all of which have been associated with depression.

    People in the study who suffered from depression also had higher rates of early life stressful experiences. "We have found that this kind of personal life history may make people more likely to develop major depression and is actually common in depressed patients," says Dr. Heim.

    It was part of a larger project at the Emory Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders led by Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD, Reunette W. Harris Professor and Chair of Emory's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The Conte Center is dedicated to understanding the contribution of early life abuse and neglect to the neurobiology of adulthood psychiatric disorders. Ongoing studies by Dr. Miller's team of researchers will attempt to determine how early life experiences contribute to excessive inflammatory stress responses.

    "According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, major depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and costs the U.S. economy $70 billion annually in medical expenditures, lost productivity, and other expenses," says Thaddeus Pace, PhD, lead author on the paper. "This study is leading us toward finding out what actually causes depression and to identifying what aspects of immune system function are abnormal in depressed people. The goal is to find potential targets within the molecular machinery of the immune system so we can better treat major depression and minimize its consequences on health."

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    Question Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    People in the study who suffered from depression also had higher rates of early life stressful experiences. "We have found that this kind of personal life history may make people more likely to develop major depression and is actually common in depressed patients," says Dr. Heim.
    Is this a commonly held belief among therapists?

    What role do genetic factors play in a person's predisposition to suffer a depressive episode.

    Is the childhood stress considered the trigger that leads to depression in later life, or is childhood stress the foundation for the later depression?

    So I am wondering how much genetics affects a person's risk for depression, compared to the events in their childhood.

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    Re: Inflammatory response linked to depression

    I think that, like almost everything, it's clearly a combination of physiological (possibly genetic) vulnerability and life experience.

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