There could soon be a brand-new method for treating depression. According to the Washington Post, more and more research suggests inflammation as the disorder’s unlikely cause, opening the door to more targeted treatments for those who experience it.
The body’s natural response to injury or sickness is inflammation. The immune system receives instructions from the body to send inflammatory cells to a wound or disease site.
While chronic inflammation is known to be a symptom of many diseases, it may be triggered if cells are being sent whenever the body doesn’t actually require them.
Neuroinflammation, a brain inflammatory response, may alter neural circuits and contribute to or exacerbate depression.
According to the research, elevated inflammation is present in about 30 percent of patients who are depressed.
Inflammation has been linked to depression, an unexpected cause that may enable more precise treatment for those who experience the disorder.
Depression, which is estimated to affect one in ten Americans, takes different forms for different people.
Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences Andrew Miller, shared via the Washington Post that “It is not that depression is kind of this generic disorder that’s the same for all people. It is quite different depending on who it is and what they are experiencing.”
Although antidepressants are frequently prescribed, only 30 percent of patients who take them successfully recover from depression, according to the media outlet.
Last year, a contentious study from University College London questioned the effectiveness of antidepressants.
This knowledge could be used to develop a tailored course of treatment that may include anti inflamatory medication, for depressed patients who struggle with increased inflammation.
“We’ve come to the tipping point. And we know enough at this point in order to begin to target the immune system and all its downstream effects on the brain to treat depression. We’re there,” Miller stated.