A new study, the largest of this kind to date, analyzed 85,895 individuals in the UK, and its results were impressive.
The study suggests that a greater risk of depression is often associated with an increased level of inflammation in the body, possibly creating a new path to treat the mood disorder, Sciencealert reported.
Maria Pitharouli, a psychologist of the King’s College London in the UK, stated that the study resulted in the most conclusive evidence to date that individuals with depression present proteins in their blood, showing the activation of the inflammatory system.
“Furthermore, through in-depth analysis of data from 86,000 people, we have discovered more about the mechanisms that may be behind the relationship between inflammation and depression,” she added.
A combination of blood samples, genetic data, mental and physical health questionaries taken as part of the UK Biobank project helped researchers check factors like age, sex, smoking, drinking alcohol, body mass index (BMI), early life trauma, and the individual’s socio-economic status helped the researchers whilst trying to find a culprit for the condition.
Though the evidence they found isn’t solid enough to postulate that one directly provokes the other, the scientists believe that it still suggests that there may be a biological link somewhere that they haven’t found yet.
Inflammation is one of the human body’s fundamental defense mechanisms against attack.
However, if it is left alone and unregulated, it can do way more harm than good.
The study also found out that the genetic link to depression seems to be primarily down to the BMI and whether an individual is an active smoker or not.